Health insurance in Colorado has seen such huge changes. And the state’s residents still await the decision on the ColoradoCare, which if passed and implemented, could become the first ever global health care plan in the country.

Learning more about how health coverage now works in CO can increase your chances of finding the plan that best suits your situation and won’t break the bank.

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Changes in uninsured rating

One of the factors that have a big influence on premiums is the uninsured rating in a certain location. This is one of the main reasons cost of insurance varies widely from one city to another.

Yes, trends show that you can expect rate increases to take place every year, but generally, the lower an area’s uninsured rating is, the better the premiums. Consider this: according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, back in 2010, the Centennial State’s uninsured rating was 15.9%. By 2015, this went down to 8.1%, representing a 7.8% drop within its estimated population of 5,456,574 (2015, latest data1). During these years, 419,000 more of its residents gained access to health insurance.

Health rating and ranking

How healthy a state’s residents are, on average, also greatly impacts their premiums. And CO has long since shown how health-conscious its people are.

The state ranked an impressive 8th in the overall Commonwealth Fund’s Scorecard on State Health System Performance conducted in 2015. Its highest ranking was for the “Healthy Lives” category, wherein it took 2nd place. Here are a few other key takeaways from the study:

  • Mortality amenable to healthcare: 59 out of 100,000 people

  • Breast cancer fatalities: 18.1 out of 100,000 women

  • Colorectal cancer fatalities: 12.3 out of 100,000 individuals

  • Adult obesity: 21%

  • Percentage of adult smokers: 14%

  • Obesity in children aged 10-17: 23%

The Commonwealth Fund also provided the following insurance related statistical comparisons:

  • 14% of adults (19 to 64 years old) don’t have insurance, compared with the national average of 15%

  • 6% of children (infants to 18 years old) are uninsured, as opposed to the countrywide average of 6%

  • 13% of the adult population chose not to obtain insurance due to the high costs associated with it

  • 15% of adults had expensive out-of-pocket medical bills

Coverages available and your out-of-pocket expense portion

In Colorado, you have four coverage options, known collectively as metal tiers. The portion you have to pay (out-of-pocket expenses) for medical and hospital bills depend on the tier you obtain:

Bronze – 40%

Silver – 30%

Gold – 20%

Platinum – 10%

Bronze
Silver
Gold
Platinum

Healthinsurance.org cited out several possible premium averages for different groups of individuals, based on a variety of factors, including location. Here are some of the numbers you should take note of:

  • Average second-lowest-cost, silver plan: $126

  • Monthly average subsidy per member: $358

Exemptions to the mandatory insurance rule

The government may exempt you from having to pay the penalty of not having insurance. You would have to meet the qualifications though, and in the event you do, apply for the exemption. Here are some examples of such situations:

  • The lowest-priced coverage available to you is greater than 8.13% of your household income

  • You are facing financial difficulties

  • You qualify for the Indian health coverage exemption

Before pushing through with your application though, first weight your individual health needs. Remember: medical services come with a hefty price, and not having insurance can lead to even bigger expenses.

You don’t have to compromise your coverage, as long as you take the time to learn more about your options, particularly discounts you can qualify for.

References:

https://www.healthinsurance.org/colorado/

https://aspe.hhs.gov/compilation-state-data-affordable-care-act

http://datacenter.commonwealthfund.org/scorecard/state/3/alaska/

https://www.healthinsurance.org/colorado-state-health-insurance-exchange/

https://www.healthcare.gov/health-coverage-exemptions/forms-how-to-apply/

1Latest data: The U.S. census is conducted every 10 years as per requirement of the United States Constitution. The 23rd edition and the latest data is the 2010 United States Census. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_Census
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