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RBC I The Colorado Division of Insurance reminds consumers to review their health insurance options and take action to make sure they are enrolled by Monday. That is the deadline for open enrollment for individual health insurance plans this year.
“We want to make sure everyone is aware of the upcoming deadline; if you are uninsured, you still have time to get covered before the window closes,” said insurance commissioner Marguerite Salazar. “Now is the time to ask questions, get educated and get covered.”
The deadline is important for individuals and families who are uninsured. However, for many, the deadline is not a concern, as most Coloradans get health insurance through their employers. Another large group qualifies for Medicaid, the state-federal insurance program for the poor and disabled; or Medicare, the federally funded program for seniors that allows people to enroll when they reach age 65.
The uninsured buying individual plans face a deadline of March 31 to enroll, whether they buy directly from insurance companies, through insurance brokers or agents, or through Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s new health insurance marketplace.
If someone who can afford health insurance doesn’t have coverage in 2014, they may have to pay an additional tax liability. This will be either $95 or 1 percent of a person’s yearly household income, whichever is greater.
Those without health insurance can shop for new coverage using the following methods:
■ Connect for Health Colorado: This is the state’s new online marketplace, a website where individuals and small businesses can shop for health insurance among the many plans offered by insurance companies. This is the only place to access tax credits that will make insurance more affordable. Visit www.connectforhealthco.com or call 1-855-752-6749.
■ Insurance Companies: Health insurance companies are also available outside the new online marketplace. Consumers can work directly with an insurance company to purchase health coverage.
■ Insurance Brokers/Agents: Consumers may already have an established relationship with an insurance agent/broker and prefer to work with such professionals, who are licensed by the Division of Insurance.
The Division of Insurance encourages people to enroll for health coverage sooner rather than later. Going without insurance creates uncertainty, the potential for high medical costs and less financial stability should a serious illness or accident occur.
Consumers with questions about health insurance can contact the Division of Insurance at 303-894-7490 or 1-800-930-3745. The Division has trained experts ready to answer consumers’ health insurance questions.