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2017 to Bring Big Changes to Colorado’s Individual Health Insurance Market

Colorado's Health Insurance Exchange20% of Coloradans With Individual Plans Will Have to Change Plans in 2017

June 6th, 2016 – The Colorado Division of Insurance announced that starting in 2017 approximately 20,000 consumers in Colorado will be losing their Humana and UnitedHealthcare individual health insurance policies, as those companies will no longer be offering individual plans in Colorado.

Additionally, Rocky Mountain Health Plans will no longer sell individual policies in Colorado (with the exception of Mesa County residents on the Western Slope), so about 10,000 of its members will have to change plans. Finally, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield plans to discontinue it’s PPO plans in 2017, so over 62,000 of it’s customers will have to change plans in 2017.

This adds up to about 92,000 people with individual plans from UnitedHealthcare, Humana Insurance, RMHP and Anthem who will need help finding other coverage for 2017 during open enrollment which runs from November 1st through January 31st.

Colorado Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar said, “I’d rather these companies continued in the individual market,” noted Commissioner Salazar. “But in the larger picture, what’s taking place is a market correction; the free market is at work. And it is important to recognize that this is a market correction taking place on a national scale, not just in Colorado. While it was good initially to have so many companies offering so many individual plans, this could be an indication that there were too many options for the market to support.”

New for the 2017 enrollment season, Bright Health Plans, will begin selling individual plans both on and off the exchange in Colorado.

Health insurance carriers file for significant rate increases for 2017.

“In general, the companies have indicated that the people enrolled in individual plans have used more healthcare services and with greater frequency than anticipated,” said Commissioner Salazar. “While the DOI will evaluate information provided by the companies to determine if their requested premium increases are correct, all of us in the industry must tackle the more pressing question of what is driving the increased health costs in the individual market that lead to higher premiums.”

2017 Average Requested Premium Change for Individual Health Plans, by Carrier:

Company Requested Overall Change* SERFF Tracking Number**
Anthem BCBS (HMO Colorado) 26.8% AWLP-130560313
Bright Health Plans*** New to market BRHP-130518475
Cigna 9.5% CCGH-130510383
Colorado Choice 36.33% COHP-130547449
Denver Health 0.08% DVHH-130565984
Freedom Life Insurance 9.98% USHG-130545454
Golden Rule 40.6% AMMS-130560610
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of CO 13.6% KFHP-130552059
National Foundation Life 9.98% USHG-130545468
Rocky Mountain HMO 34.6% LEIF-130564677

The filings from the companies are available for review on DOI’s Health Insurance Filings page.  During the review period, Colorado consumers can submit public comments on the filings, which will be reviewed and considered by the Division of Insurance. The DOI encourages consumers to submit comments no later than July 6, 2016, so they can be included as part of the review of the filings.

Tips on filing an online comment: When viewing the filings online, there will be a section for comments within each filing. Click on the “Add” link in the “Comments” column of the filing of interest. The user will be prompted to enter his/her name, city and state of residence, email address, and the comment.

After the Colorado Division of Insurance completes its review and analysis in late September / early October, it will notify carriers and Connect for Health Colorado of the approved plans for 2017.

Source: Colorado Division of Insurance.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Susan Z. October 17, 2016, 12:17 pm

    It is difficult to imagine a more absurd assertion than President Obama saying Americans could keep their health plans and that premiums would decrease, but saying that the rate hikes and policy cancellations are because “the free market is at work” is beyond ridiculous. It’s disgusting.

    • Cindy Charrier May 22, 2017, 9:37 pm

      I couldn’t agree more!! The free market at work my a$$!! Both my husband & I are on disability and it’s the same thing, because of our years of hard work and high incomes, we suffer by paying outrageous premiums.

  • John G October 31, 2016, 4:13 pm

    Colorado Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar said, about companies pulling insurance provider CHOICE away from subscribers, with the comment, “While it was good initially to have so many companies offering so many individual plans, this could be an indication that there were too many options for the market to support.” Too many options, I’d hate to have to deal with too much freedom to make my own decisions. This woman is obviously not qualified to retain her elected position. that qualification alone will keep her imbedded there for life in the current political climate She’s what’s wrong with the system.

    • M.R. November 3, 2016, 9:55 am

      I totally agree with you John!!!!

  • M.R. November 3, 2016, 9:53 am

    I totally agree with John G. Marguerite Salazar must be an absolute idiot. FREEDOM OF CHOICE is the foundation of America!!!!!! Talk about not being qualified to hold an elected position!!! SHE and the nut job idiots that keep trying to force the working population to support the lazy non-working population are the very problem with the entire system!!!! Take a step to vote out & remove these cracked pots!!! Don’t be fooled – these people want to take away ALL of our freedoms & make decisions for us. After all, it was a democratic president who FORCED you to buy something you didn’t want to buy. NEVER in the history of this country has that happened. PATHETIC!!!! DISGUSTING ABUSE OF POWER!!!

  • jc December 14, 2016, 4:53 pm

    Still dealing with a chronic (3 years) injury and need to see an out of state specialist. This is not workman’s comp because my employer said it was pre-existing. Still cannot return to my old work and am self employed. Cannot find any 2017 plans (marketplace or private,) that will allow me to see anyone outside of the local area. According to my current insurance (Anthem,) no providers in Colorado will be able to offer PPOs or plans for those who travel. I’m only allowed to have an emergency room visit if I’m out of area. Solution–I will see the doctor I need to see and it will be billed at the much higher ER billing scale. More expensive for everyone! I will persist until my needs are met but this is insanity!

    • Mark Erickson December 14, 2016, 10:27 pm

      Cigna also has a Vantage plan available via Connect for Health Colorado. It does provide in-network benefits in areas where Cigna has Local Plus EPO networks out of state. It’s not as comprehensive as the Anthem PPO network was, but it’s the only option available to most people age 30 or over. Please give us a call if we can assist.

      • Cindy January 1, 2017, 8:20 pm

        This is BULL!! This whole system! My husband has just been diagnosed with early onset dementia at the young age of 50!!

        We are both on disability but still in the middle class getting squeezed.

        The sooner he is out of office, the sooner change can start happening in untangling this mess that people call the Affordable Care Act!!

  • Sheila Newman May 22, 2017, 6:52 pm

    My husband will become eligible for Medicare in June of 2017. We went on separate health care plans in December 2016 anticipating this change. We were contacted on May 15, 2017 by Connect for Health asking if my husband wanted to terminate his plan and go on medicare effective June 1st. He agreed. On May 16th we contacted our health care broker and they informed us we where both being cancelled. Since that time we have both spent over two hours per day (12 plus hours) trying to get me reinstated into Connect for Colorado. We have spoken to over a dozen representatives that have agreed we have separate coverage but cannot seem to get me reinstated. They have changed their answer on my status from I have no health care credit available to me, to I am medicaid eligible. I am trying to maintain my current plan, but for some reason Connect for Colorado does not want to let me do that. This is extremely frustrating to me. I have no health issues what so ever and don’t understand why they are doing this to me.

  • Sheila Newman May 22, 2017, 7:14 pm

    Additional note: the last supervisor I spoke to is located in Alabama!

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