Friday, November 1, 2013

Connect for Health Colorado CEO says state health exchange off to a good start

A message from Connect for Health Chief Executive Officer Patty Fontneau on the first month of operations for the Colorado's health exchange.
Today marks the end of our first month since opening Colorado’s health insurance marketplace and I am pleased to report that interest has been strong and we have been busy helping Coloradans shop for health insurance. Thousands of Coloradans are visiting our website every day to compare health plans, learn about their options, apply for financial assistance and enroll. Our Customer Service Center has seen high demand, servicing close to 30,000 phone calls to date. More than 50,000 Coloradans have created accounts with the intent to buy health insurance and more than 3,000 have signed up already. We are quickly resolving technical issues that arise and are working hard every day to improve our operations, customer service and support for our statewide network of certified health insurance agents/brokers and Health Coverage Guides who are on the front lines assisting our customers.
Following the direction set by a 2011 state law, we created a unique service for Colorado through a website and support network that is completely separate from the federal marketplace. It’s important for Coloradans to know that our Marketplace has been operating successfully and has been built specifically for our state. As one Eagle County customer who enrolled in health insurance that will cost her $132 a month with a tax credit: “It worked out great for me. Colorado really has it together.”

Here are 10 facts about how we are working for Colorado:
  1. Connect for Health Colorado is a new service to help Coloradans get health insurance that has been up and running since October 1.
  2. Connect for Health Colorado is built on technology and operations that are separate from the federal health insurance marketplace, There is no need for Coloradans to go to Coloradans can go to to shop and enroll.
  3. Unlike the federal health insurance marketplace and many other state marketplaces, our customers can browse health plan features and prices and get an estimate of their potential financial assistance, based on income, without creating an account or making a commitment.
  4. Among our consumer-friendly tools, we offer a way for customers to search for health plans that include their preferred doctors and medical facilities. More than 36,000 medical providers across Colorado are included in our provider directory.
  5. Connect for Health Colorado is creating more competition for the benefit of Coloradans. We offer 150 health plans from 10 companies for individuals and families and 92 health plans from six companies for small businesses with up to 50 employees, plus dental plan options.
  6. Coloradans can apply for financial assistance, starting with a check for Medicaid eligibility, through our website, and then see if they are eligible for a new kind of tax credit, which can save hundreds a month up-front on premiums, and other cost savings.
  7. Coloradans also have the choice to quickly buy health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado without applying for financial assistance and then claim the tax credit, if eligible, when they file their taxes in 2015.
  8. More than 1,300 licensed health insurance agents and brokers across the state have been trained and certified to assist and provide advice to our customers. You can find a certified agent or broker through our online search tool.
  9. More than 400 Health Coverage Guides have been trained and certified to assist customers in person at Assistance Sites across the state. You can find an Assistance Site through ouronline search tool.
  10. Our Customer Service Center in Colorado Springs is open from 7 am to 8 pm Mondays through Saturdays at 1-855-PLANS-4-YOU (855-752-6749) to provide personalized assistance over the phone or through online chat at no cost to customers.
If you haven’t started shopping, we invite you to visit our website or call our Customer Service Center. The quickest way to start looking at health plans is to click on the blue Find a Plan link in the Browse Plans box on in the middle right side of our shopping page. If you or someone you know encounters any issues, let us know and we’ll make sure to fix it. Remember that you need to be signed up by December 15 to have your coverage begin on January 1 2014.

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