Types of Health Insurance


Employer-Based Health Insurance

  • Health insurance provided by an employer, often part of a package of benefits that can include other insurance and services. The employer may pay part or all of the premiums. It can be large-group insurance (100 or more employees) or small-group insurance (99 or fewer employees). Typically, employees will choose from insurance plans chosen by the employer.
  • If you think that you or your family (or a particular family member) are eligible for an employer’s health insurance plan - either as an employee, the spouse of an employee or a dependent child of the employee (if the dependent is under the age of 26) - contact the employer’s human resources or personnel department as soon as possible. Be aware that employer plans can set time limits for joining after a person loses other coverage (such as Medicaid, CHP+ or another employer’s coverage), so you should check with the employer for the specific time limits and rules.

Individual Health Insurance

Insurance that is purchased by an individual for single-person coverage or coverage of a family. The individual pays the premium, as opposed to employer-based health insurance where the employer often pays a share of the premium. 

  • Individuals may shop for and purchase insurance from any plans available in the individual's geographic region. Plans can be purchased through Connect for Health Colorado - the state’s health exchange marketplace, through an insurance agent / broker, or directly from an insurance company.
    • Individuals and families may qualify for financial assistance to lower the cost of insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs, but only when enrolling through Connect for Health Colorado.  
  • If you experience certain changes in your life, including losing an employer’s health insurance, losing eligibility for Medicaid or CHP+, certain changes in your income, moving, getting married or having a baby (collectively called “qualifying life events”), you are eligible for a 60-day period of time where you can enroll in an individual plan, even if it is outside of the annual open enrollment period of Nov. 1 - Jan. 15. Connect for Health Colorado has a full list of these Qualifying Life Events
  • Dependent children who are under age 26 are eligible to be included as family members under a parent’s coverage.

Government Health Plans

Plans administered by the government such as Medicaid, CHP+, Medicare or programs for members of the military and their families (Veterans’ Administration [VA] and TRICARE). If you believe you may be eligible for any of these, refer to the following information.