Since last year, Thanksgiving has a new meaning for people who need health insurance. The time for buying individual and family plans (as opposed to plans through your work) is approaching. If you need to be sure your 2014 insurance is still the best option, or if you are looking for insurance the very first time, the application deadline is very close. Your quickest path to insurance? Call one of our certified brokers to get individualized hands on help at no charge.
DEADLINE: December 15 is the deadline to apply for individual health insurance that begins January 1. Since there are no medical qualifying hoops to jump through any more, you need only apply to get health insurance for yourself and your family. Applications must in no later than Dec. 15 if you want your insurance to begin on January 1.
HOW TO CREATE AN ACCOUNT ON THE COLORADO EXCHANGE: If you want to buy insurance for 2015, it is helpful to have an account on the Connect for Health Colorado (Connect) Marketplace (the state’s health benefit exchange. Click on this link for a guide to doing this: https://www.dropbox.com/s/q3iy9dw8b5df9dl/CreateAccount112814.pdf?dl=0
HOW TO APPLY FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE: Financial assistance with health insurance premiums depends on income level and family size. You may qualify for financial assistance for 2015 if your family income is less than these amounts:
Two People: $62,920
Four People: $95,400
For self-employed people, income is after your business expenses. To create an account on Connect for Health Colorado and see how much assistance you qualify for, click on this link for our easy-to-follow, free guide to doing this: https://www.dropbox.com/s/3bi0fajhm03gnoe/NewCustomerWithFinancial%20Assistance%20app113014.pdf?dl=0
If you want to purchase a plan, but do not qualify or want to apply for financial assistance, use this link for instructions on how to shop for a plan on the Colorado Marketplace: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1t6k83zqlwbheod/NewCustomerNoFA113014.pdf?dl=0
IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS OR PROBLEMS: If you have technical or computer problems creating an account or completing the financial assistance application, you can call Connect’s Customer Service line at 855-752-6749 for help solving the problem. For questions or issues related to your insurance, rely on your broker.
FINDING THE BEST PLAN: There is no single best health insurance plan. The best plan for each person balances the monthly cost of the insurance, with the health of the person, their preferences for certain doctors, and likely out of pocket costs. My role as a broker is to help compare all available plans to find the one that best meets your needs and requirements. You do not pay anything extra to use a broker.
At Colorado Health Brokers, we all live in Colorado and enjoy helping people find the best possible health insurance plan for their particular situation. I am a broker, also trained and certified to help find financial assistance to help with insurance premiums. There is no charge to you for the help I provide.
Colorado Continuation/Conversion is a state law that assures an employee who leaves a company with less than 20 full time employees and has been covered by the firm’s health insurance plan for 6 continuous months, a continuation of their health insurance coverage for up to 18 months, except in cases of “gross misconduct.” For an employee leaving a Colorado based company with more than 20 employees, the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) applies.
The ex-employee will be responsible for the full premium (the combination of that which the employer and the employee were previously paying) plus a small administrative cost.
Within 10 days of termination, the employer must sent written notice to the employee of the right to continue. The employee then has an “Election Period” of 30 days from termination to notify the employer of acceptance.
If after this period the employee decides they do not want to accept Continuation coverage, they owe nothing. However, if they do decide they want to accept the coverage, they will owe premium back to their last day of employment.
One concern with smaller companies is that if the firm goes out of business and/or cancels their health insurance plan, this whole option disappears for the ex-employee.
Colorado Continuation/Conversion is a form of “group health insurance” and generally cannot exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions. However, because of this, the premiums are much higher than a relatively healthy person or family could obtain with an individual policy.
If you would like to know more about your options, please give me a call at 303-541-9533.
Under Colorado law, your child will automatically be covered by your (father or mother) insurance plan for the first 31 days of life, without notification or payment of premium.
If you do notify your plan of the child’s birth within the first 31 days, he or she will automatically be added to the plan going forward. As no new underwriting is required, this law is to assure coverage in the case that the child is born with problems.
Of course, you will be charged extra premium in the same manner you would for any new dependent.
Want to know more about it? Please give me a call at 303-541-9533
I don’t believe so, but that is what I read in a recent comment section of an on-line article about health insurance.
Health insurance premiums have been going up at a much faster rate than inflation in general and many people attribute that to exorbitant heath insurance profits. But the truth of the matter is that 87% of every premium dollar goes to covering medical care and services.
What is driving up the cost of health care?
According to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Kaiser Family Foundation, BusinessWeek, Pricewaterhousecoopers and many other sources:
+ More expensive technology, used more often.
Are all those tests that add to your doctor’s income really necessary?
+ Doctors in the U.S. earn two to three times as much as other industrialized countries.
+ Medical price inflation
Expensive new tests, Rx and procedures drive 51% of the growth in health care spending.
+ Cost shifting
Underpayments of Medicare and Medicaid are picked up by private insurance companies.
+ High cost of complying with government regulations.
Private health insurance companies spend $339.2 billion in order to comply with government health regulations.
+ Poor patient lifestyles
+ Healthcare fraud and abuse
Conservatively estimated at 3% of total annual healthcare spending.
Someone is getting rich on your premium, but with health insurance companies averaging 3 cents profit for dollar they received, they may not be the villains may people think they are.
Next time you drive by one of those new marble palaces that passes for a hospital today, ask yourself “who’s paying for this?”