2015 Health Insurance Rates for Colorado Health

2015 Health Insurance Rates for Colorado Health

 

Colorado released its approved 2015 health insurance plans and rates Sept. 22. The outlook for Coloradans buying their own health insurance in the year to come looks positive with more plan options, more carriers and only a slight average premium increase.For 2015 coverage, the average premium for all ACA-compliant health insurance plans statewide is 1.18 percent. Individual plans will increase an average of 0.71 percent, and small business group plans will increase an average of 2.53 percent. The state’s largest premium increase will be in the Boulder geographic rating area: 50.87 percent. The largest premium decrease will be in the newly created East geographic rating area: 37.89 percent.

Coloradans will have more options on and away from the Connect for Health Colorado exchange.A total of 1,072 plans from 20 carriers will be available on and away from Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s exchange. In 2014, 17 carriers offered 791 plans. Plan and carrier options vary by geographic rating area.

New geographic rating areas

In 2014, the Colorado Mountain Resort Region had the nation’s highest premium rates—the cheapest silver plan available to a 40-year-old in this rating area was $483.[1] The region included Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin counties, which are home to Aspen and Vail ski resorts. In Summit County, premiums were $462.

To address this issue, Colorado consolidated its geographic rating areas and reduced the number from 11 to nine. There are now seven metropolitan statistical areas and two non-MSAs, East and West. In the newly created West area, which includes the counties listed above in addition to others, rates are will decrease an average 7.44 percent for individuals. In the newly created East area, which includes parts of eastern and southern Colorado, individual rates will decrease an average 5.01 percent.

In 2015, the cheapest exchange-based silver plan available to a 40-year-old in the West area will be $249.21. In the East area, the cheapest exchange-based silver plan available to a 40-year-old in 2015 will be $208.05. These amounts are pre-subsidy. Away from the exchange, the cheapest rates for a silver plan purchased by a 40-year-old will also be $249.21 in the West area and $208.05 in the East area.

Individuals and families

Colorado’s individual marketplace expanded significantly for 2015, especially away from the state’s  exchange. Connect for Health Colorado will offer 176 private health insurance plans for individuals and families, compared with 149 in 2014. Private marketplace options grew 86 percent from 159 to 296.

Exchange carriers

Ten carriers will sell individual health insurance plans through Connect for Health Colorado:

  1. All Savers Insurance Company
  2. Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company
  3. Colorado Choice Health Plans
  4. Colorado Health Insurance Cooperative, Inc.
  5. Denver Health Medical Plans
  6. HMO Colorado, Inc. (Anthem)
  7. Humana Health Plan, Inc.
  8. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado
  9. New Health Ventures, Inc. (Access Health)
  10. Rocky Mountain Health Maintenance Organization, Inc.

Private marketplace

Sixteen carriers will sell individual health insurance plans in Colorado’s private marketplace:

  1. All Savers Insurance Company
  2. Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company
  3. Colorado Choice Health Plans
  4. Colorado Health Insurance Cooperative, Inc.
  5. Denver Health Medical Plans
  6. Freedom Life Insurance Company of America
  7. HMO Colorado, Inc. (Anthem)
  8. Humana Health Plan, Inc.
  9. Humana Insurance Company
  10. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado
  11. National Foundation Life Insurance Company
  12. New Health Ventures, Inc. (Access Health)
  13. Rocky Mountain Hospital and Medical Service, Inc. (Anthem)
  14. Rocky Mountain Health Maintenance Organization, Inc.
  15. Time Insurance Company
  16. UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company

Small businesses

Employers with two to 50 employees may shop for small group health insurance plans on and away from Connect for Health Colorado. In 2015, small business groups will have 120 exchange-based plan options in 2015, compared with 90 in 2014. Those who shop for coverage in the private marketplace will have 480 plan options compared with 393 in 2014.

On the exchange

Businesses with 50 or fewer employees that buy health insurance from state-based and federally facilitated exchanges. Those with 25 or fewer employees may be eligible for tax credits. Six carriers will sell small group health insurance coverage through Connect for Health Colorado.

  1. Colorado Choice Health Plans
  2. Colorado Health Insurance Cooperative, Inc.
  3. HMO Colorado, Inc. (Anthem)
  4. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado
  5. Rocky Mountain HealthCare Options, Inc.
  6. Rocky Mountain Health Maintenance Organization, Inc.

Away from the exchange

In the private marketplace, 12 carriers will sell small group health insurance coverage.

  1. Colorado Choice Health Plans
  2. Colorado Health Insurance Cooperative, Inc.
  3. HMO Colorado, Inc. (Anthem)
  4. Humana Health Plan, Inc.
  5. Humana Insurance Company
  6. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado
  7. Kaiser Permanente Insurance Company
  8. Rocky Mountain Hospital and Medical Service, Inc. (Anthem)
  9. Rocky Mountain HealthCare Options, Inc.
  10. Rocky Mountain Health Maintenance Organization, Inc.
  11. UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company
  12. UnitedHealthcare of Colorado

Choosing 2015 coverage

Coloradans who purchased 2014 coverage from the state’s exchange will receive notification that their plans will auto-renew for 2015. However, it is wise for all consumers, whether enrolled in health plans on or away from the exchange, to reevaluate their insurance coverage for the year to come and weigh their options carefully.

Some things to consider:

  • Did your family health needs change in the past year? Will they change in the year to come?
  • Did your income change? Are you eligible for a tax credit, eligible for a larger or smaller tax credit, or no longer eligible for one at all?
  • Did you use the coverage you selected? Was it too much? Too little?
  • Did your plan network include your preferred providers and hospitals? Were they conveniently located?

Health and financial needs change, benchmark plan rates used to determine tax credits fluctuate, tax credit eligibility changes, and so do plan rates and networks. Check out the plan options in your area. Compare monthly premiums, annual deductibles and out-of-pocket limits, coinsurance, copayments and network providers and determine which work best for your healthcare needs and budget. Recalculate your premium tax credit subsidy eligibility.

If you qualify for a premium tax credit, you may want to keep your search to the exchange. If your are not eligible for a premium tax credit or the amount is small, you may want to consider options in the private marketplace. Remember: Tax credits are only available when you shop your state’s exchange.

Use HealthCare.com’s Obamacare tax credit subsidy calculator to see if you might be eligible for a tax credit—and estimate how much. While you’re visiting HealthCare.com, enter your ZIP code to find and compare plans in your area. Call (877) 626-1943 to get help directly from an agent.

 

 

 

References

Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies. Division of Insurance. Health Insurance Rate Filings. “2015 Approved Health Plans & Rates.” http://cdn.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/DORA-HealthIns/CBON/DORA/1251627738584

[1] Rau, Jordan. “The 10 Most Expensive Insurance Markets in the U.S.” Kaiser Health News. Feb. 3, 2014. http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/stories/2014/february/03/most-expensive-insurance-markets-obamacare.aspx.

Colleen McGuire

About Colleen McGuire

Colleen McGuire is an independent consultant who has spent most of her career writing about healthcare and the health insurance industry. For fun she blogs, travels and takes a lot of pictures along the way.

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