August 1st, 2023 – The news that some 30,000 Coloradan’s will lose their health insurance coverage on September 1st has sent shockwaves across Colorado. Friday Health Plans will be ceasing operations in Colorado ahead of schedule with the last claims to be covered as of August 31st.
Friday Health acquired San Luis Valley based Colorado Choice Health Plans in 2017. Colorado Choice began in 1972 and slowly built a solid provider network serving predominately rural counties across Colorado, before expanding into Pueblo, Colorado Springs and metro-Denver. Colorado Choice was a well regarded company.
After Friday Health acquired Colorado Choice the company expanded into New Mexico, Texas and Nevada. In 2022, Friday Health had 300,000 members in Texas, 10 times the size of Friday’s 2023 client base in Colorado. Friday Health further expanded into Georgia, Oklahoma, and North Carolina in 2022.
The company’s expansion was fueled by hundreds of millions in investment capital and aggressive pricing of its insurance products. In Colorado, the Division of Insurance often required Friday Health to charge higher premiums than they requested. That may not have been the case in other states.
Texas regulators ordered the company to cease operations last year and Friday Health pulled out of New Mexico too. While earlier this year Friday Health said its finances were sound in the markets it still did business in, state regulators grew increasing concerned.
In July, the Colorado Division of Insurance that Friday Health will be closing operations with coverage ending for Friday Health customers on August 31st, 2023. In a statement, the Colorado Division of Insurance said that Friday Health members who enroll by August 31 will have their new health insurance start on September 1, 2023. For help getting new health insurance, get free personal assistance from a Colorado licensed broker.
Depending on where you live, the provider network choices may include: Anthem Pathways HMO (Colorado’s largest network of providers), Anthem Pathways Essentials HMO, Cigna Connect EPO, Denver Health Elevate HMO, Kaiser HMO and Kaiser Select HMO, Rocky Mountain Health Plans (HMO in select rural mountain, valley and western slope counties), United Healthcare Doctor’s Choice HMO (in select Front Range counties).
The Division of Insurance and Connect for Health Colorado marketplace said that doctors, hospitals and other health care providers will still be paid for claims submitted for services to people with health insurance from Friday Health, pursuant to the contractual terms with the company. This action triggers the Guaranty Association to pay claims, and the Association will pay up to $500,000 (the statutory limit) for claims for each person covered by Friday Health.