Health Care & Insurance  October 16, 2023

Select Health begins offering plans in region

Select Health, the nonprofit health plan of Intermountain Health that serves more than 1 million members in Utah, Idaho and Nevada, began offering enrollment Monday for Medicare patients in 16 Colorado counties.

“We’ve spent the last 10 months contracting and credentialing 11,000 providers in the state,” said Curt Howell, market president for Select Health’s Peaks Region, which includes Colorado., “It’s nothing short of an incredible amount of work to do that, but we are really well-positioned.”

Medicare annual enrollments will extend through Dec. 7, he said, with an effective date of Jan. 1. Enrollment for individual or family plans or plans through the Affordable Care Act’s state exchange will open Nov. 1, and people signing up for those plans must enroll by Dec. 15 if they want a Jan. 1 effective date, but can still sign up through Jan. 15 for coverage beginning Feb. 1.

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“We’ll be offering bronze, silver and gold plans on and off the exchange,” Howell said.

Select Health will not be offering the Medicare plans in Larimer or Weld counties at this time, officials said.

Offering the plans was made possible through a partnership that UCHealth and Intermountain Health launched early this year in Colorado to bring new health insurance options to the state.

Select Health, a 40-year-old nonprofit based in the Salt Lake City suburb of Murray, Utah, made the final decision to come into Colorado 10 years ago, Howell said. “With the joint venture of UCHealth and Intermountain Health, who had acquired the assets of SCL, we thought it would be a great opportunity to enter this state. For the last 10 months, we’ve been working feverishly to offer these products on Jan. 1.”

The collaboration will cover UCHealth’s hospitals and clinics throughout the region, as well as Boulder Community Health’s Foothills Hospital and Intermountain’s Good Samaritan Medical Center in Lafayette, he said.

“We buy services from them,” Howell said. “Our members would have access to go to any of those hospitals for services they would need — inpatient, outpatient, flu shots, you name it.”

In late September, Howell announced that UCHealth Plan Administrators, UCHealth’s third-party administrator of health benefits for self-funded employers, was joining Select Health, for an entity to be known as Simplified Benefits Administrators.

“For nearly 10 years, UCHealth Plan Administrators has served Colorado and Wyoming communities, building an impressive and successful business, while instilling trust in the companies it has served,” Howell said. “As Select Health continues its expansion into the state of Colorado, this new chapter will create further alignment with a large regional health plan and provide more insurance plan options for employers in the region, helping businesses and their employees reduce health care costs and see lower health insurance premiums.”

Formation of a clinically integrated network of 900 primary-care physicians creates a “value-based care vehicle that really works to get the doctors and the patients working together to give the most appropriate care at the most appropriate place at the most appropriate time,” Howell said. “We think by doing that, we save a lot of dollars that otherwise go wasted in the system.

“The cool thing about this clinically integrated network is it’s not exclusive to Select Health,” he said. “Any health plan that wants to have a value-based care approach in the state of Colorado can contract with Trinsic — that’s the name of the network –—and they can move forward with value-based care as well. We contract with Trinsic to be our primary-care backbone.”

Howell has high hopes for the future of Select Health in Colorado.

“You’ll see us for a long time here,” he said. “We’ve got assets on the ground, we’ll roll out these two plans this year and hopefully many more plans next year for access by commercial members, and you’ll likely see us try to expand to other parts of the state that we’re not in today. Our intent is to become stronger in the intermountain region.”

In the meantime, a big job for Select Health is getting the word out, he said, through billboards, social media, radio, television, direct mail, insurance brokers – and more collaborations.

About 60% of Coloradans shop for groceries at Kroger-owned King Soopers and City Markets, Howell said, “and shoppers there will see our advertisements for Medicare Advantage and discounts on prescriptions.”

Select Health, the nonprofit health plan of Intermountain Health that serves more than 1 million members in Utah, Idaho and Nevada, began offering enrollment Monday for Medicare patients in 16 Colorado counties.

“We’ve spent the last 10 months contracting and credentialing 11,000 providers in the state,” said Curt Howell, market president for Select Health’s Peaks Region, which includes Colorado., “It’s nothing short of an incredible amount of work to do that, but we are really well-positioned.”

Medicare annual enrollments will extend through Dec. 7, he said, with an effective date of Jan. 1. Enrollment for individual or family plans or plans through…

Dallas Heltzell
With BizWest since 2012 and in Colorado since 1979, Dallas worked at the Longmont Times-Call, Colorado Springs Gazette, Denver Post and Public News Service. A Missouri native and Mizzou School of Journalism grad, Dallas started as a sports writer and outdoor columnist at the St. Charles (Mo.) Banner-News, then went to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch before fleeing the heat and humidity for the Rockies. He especially loves covering our mountain communities.
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