Health insurance open enrollment continues to Jan. 15 in Colorado

Colorado residents have until Jan. 15 to sign up for health insurance that offers financial assistance, even though the deadline is next week in many other parts of the country. But although they have an extra month to decide, people still need to enroll in a health plan by Dec. 15 if they want their coverage to begin Jan. 1.

For those who are eligible, plans from the Connect for Health Colorado Marketplace offer financial assistance that reduces the cost of premiums, copays, and coinsurance. For example, financial assistance is available for an individual making up to $48,560 per year, or a family of four making up to $100,400.

More than 130,000 Coloradans got help paying for health insurance in 2018. Renewing customers who qualified for financial help have seen their net premium cost for 2019 plans decrease an average of 24 percent over the prior year.

Larimer Health Connect, a service of the Health District of Northern Larimer County, can make open enrollment easier by offering free and unbiased in-person assistance to help Larimer County residents apply for financial assistance, learn about health insurance options, and enroll in the plan of their choice for 2019. It has extended hours and walk-in (no appointment required) enrollment events on Saturdays during open enrollment.

People who enrolled last year and are happy with their plan should still see what’s available for 2019. Plans change every year, and people need to make sure they are still getting the best plan at the best price for their health and financial needs. Larimer Health Connect can help with that.

After Jan. 15, people will not be able to sign up for a Connect for Health Colorado plan until the next open enrollment period in fall 2019. However, those who have major changes in their life circumstances during the year – for example a new job, new child, or new place of residence – might qualify for a special enrollment period that allows them to sign up for new coverage or change an existing plan. Larimer Health Connect can tell people if they qualify and help with the process.

Larimer Health Connect also can help qualifying people sign up for Health First Colorado, (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) or Child Health Plan Plus, both of which allow year-round enrollment.

Larimer Health Connect is open 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., M-F, at 144 N. Mason St., Unit 7, Fort Collins. Walk-in service is available Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. through Jan. 12. People can also be seen by appointment at offices in north Fort Collins and Loveland. More information and appointments are available at 970-472-0444, or larimerhealthconnect.org.