Colorado opening special health insurance enrollment period Feb. 8

Diana J. Smith

DENVER – Colorado is reopening its Connect for Health Colorado health care exchange on Feb. 8 so people will be able to enroll for a health care plan into mid-May following an executive order from President Joe Biden.

The Biden administration’s executive order reopened enrollment on the federal exchanges for the Affordable Care Act. Colorado, which uses its own exchange, decided to mirror the order and follow suit, with some small differences.

From Feb. 8 to May 15, uninsured Coloradans will be able to enroll in a health insurance plan at any time through Connect for Health Colorado. The exchange will open back up a week earlier than the special enrollment period on the federal exchanges.

For people who buy health insurance during the special period, coverage will kick in on the first day of the month following the date the insurance was selected – meaning someone who buys insurance in February will see the coverage kick in on March 1.

Nearly 180,000 people enrolled in a coverage plan through Connect for Health Colorado during the open enrollment period that ended Jan. 15 – an 8% increase from the year prior. And thousands signed up during a special enrollment period last April at the onset of the pandemic and business restrictions.

The state said they welcomed the new administration’s actions and believe the special enrollment period in Colorado will help people who have lost their employer-based health insurance during the pandemic because they became unemployed.

“I am encouraged to see President Biden and his administration take action on this front, acknowledging the fact that so many remain without health insurance due to the continued impact of COVID-19,” said Colorado Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway in a statement. “The Division of Insurance will work with Connect for Health Colorado to make sure this additional enrollment period works to help Coloradans get covered.”

Coloradans are also able to sign up for a plan at any point in time if they lose their employer-based insurance, Health First Colorado Coverage, or meet any other Qualified Life Event parameters.

For more information on signing up for a plan during the special enrollment period, click here or call 855-752-6749.

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