Colorado approves 242 health plans for exchange

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon

Colorados Division of Insurance has approved 242 plans from 13 carriers for the states health exchange, Connect for Health Colorado, which is slated to open on Oct. 1.

Deputy Insurance Commissioner Peg Brown briefed members of Colorados health exchange board on Monday on plans that her department has reviewed and approved.

Were very pleased with the number of carriers and plans. It represents a wide variety of choice for the Connect for Health marketplace and healthy competition in the Colorado insurance marketplace overall, Brown said.

Of the approved plans, 150 are targeted at individuals while 92 will be sold on the small business exchange.

Most of the plans are mid-level products that would cover between 60 and 80 percent of health costs. Only two plans would provide the highest level of coverage, known as the platinum level that would pay about 90 percent of costs. If consumers want only catastrophic coverage, individuals will be able to choose from 13 different plans.

Brown gave examples of how much a 27-year-old who does not smoke would pay as a base rate. Depending on income, most people will also receive subsidies from the federal government to help make insurance more affordable.

For catastrophic plans that cover the least, a young person could pay as little as $136 per month and as much as $355 per month. Bronze plans that cover about 60 percent of costs for 27-year-olds range from $145 to $430 per month, while gold plans covering 80 percent of costs range from $224 to $635 per month.

Insurance companies may no longer reject customers based on preexisting health conditions, but they will be able to charge more to smokers, people who are older and those who live in some geographic areas.

Brown said the Division of Insurance plans to release final information on all plans approved for sale both inside and outside the health exchange within a week to 10 days.

We think these are very solid rates. These are new plans developed for the new requirements in 2014. Consequently any comparisons with current plans would not be an apples to apples comparison, Brown said.

The following insurance companies will be competing for business in Colorado:

  • All Savers: 9 individual plans
  • Cigna: 11 individual plans
  • Colorado Choice: 12 individual, 10 small group plans
  • Colorado Health Insurance Cooperative: 8 individual, 6 group plans
  • Denver Health Medical Plan: 4 individual plans
  • HMO Colorado Inc. (Anthem): 14 individual plans, 3 group plans
  • Humana Health Plan: 7 individual plans
  • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan: 27 individual plans, 24 group plans
  • New Health Ventures: 6 individual plans
  • Rocky Mountain Hospital and Medical Services (Anthem): 2 group plans
  • Rocky Mountain HMO: 52 individual plans, 30 group plans
  • Rocky Mountain Healthcare Options Inc.: 14 group plans
  • SeeChange Health Insurance Company: 3 group plans