2021 individual health premiums decreasing by 1.4% over 2020 premiums.
DENVER (October 8, 2020) – Today the Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), announced that the reinsurance program continues to deliver significant savings for Coloradans buying individual health insurance (meaning a plan not from an employer). For 2021, the reinsurance program will save consumers across Colorado an average of 20.8% over what premiums would have been without the program. On the Western Slope and southwest Colorado, the program will save Coloradans nearly 38%.
“A big reason why I ran for Governor was to save people money on healthcare, and I’m excited that we are making progress with 20.8% average premium savings in the individual market from reinsurance, with rates coming down an average of 1.4% for next year. My administration is committed to helping save people money even more on health care and the bipartisan reinsurance program is already delivering real results for hardworking families and individuals across our state,” said Governor Polis. “But we can’t rest on our laurels, we must do more to drive down health care costs.”
“Every year, the Division of Insurance rate and plan review teams do incredible work protecting consumers,” said Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway. “And this year was no exception. In addition, we are very excited that our great reinsurance program continues to make health insurance more affordable for Coloradans. As I’ve said before, access to health care is always important and it's vital during this pandemic. When we make health insurance more affordable, we make access to health care more achievable."
Individual Health Insurance Plans
Overall, people buying individual plans will see premiums decrease an average of 1.4% compared to 2020 premiums, reversing what had initially looked to be an average increase based on preliminary information submitted by the insurance companies.
Overall, 326 individual plans will be offered in Colorado. Find a county-by-county breakdown of available plans in 2021, as well as the average premium changes by county at the DOI website for approved health insurance plans.
Recognizing that 2020 has been an extraordinarily difficult economic year for many Coloradans, the Division of Insurance insisted that the insurance companies could not shift the cost of uncertainty caused by COVID-19 onto Colorado consumers. As such, the DOI directed the insurance companies to make the following adjustments to lower their proposed premiums in order to save Coloradans money.
- Because of the uncertainty of the timing and the cost of any future vaccine, removal of all anticipated COVID-19 vaccine costs
- Reduction of COVID-19-related cost increases
- Cap on what the companies can charge for anticipated use of medical services in 2021
- Requiring all companies to remove any proposed profit increases
Choosing the plan that’s right for you
Premiums will go down an average of 1.4% for 2021, but the key word is “average.” People will see changes that are higher or lower depending on the plan, where they live and their ages. That’s why it is important to take time this open enrollment to comparison shop and find the plan that’s right for you - one that fits your health needs and your budget.
And while premiums are important, people must consider factors beyond premiums. Think about deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance costs, along with doctors, health conditions and how the plan covers prescriptions.
Open enrollment will be from Nov. 1, 2020 to Jan. 15, 2021, although to have coverage in place by Jan. 1, people must enroll by Dec. 15. Many will also qualify for financial assistance to make their plans more affordable, and assistance is only available when enrolling through our state’s exchange, Connect for Health Colorado. Contact Connect at 855-752-6749 or find in-person assistance through their statewide network of certified experts at connectforhealthco.com/person-help, including appointments with a broker or assister by phone. In addition, Connect for Health offers tools such as the Quick Cost & Plan Finder that can help check eligibility for financial assistance while finding plans that fit consumers’ needs.
Even with open enrollment starting soon, Coloradans who have been hit by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have options for health insurance for the remainder of 2020. People who have lost health insurance from their employer, or have had a downturn in their income, may qualify for a special enrollment period to enroll in a 2020 plan. Contact Connect for Health Colorado at 855-752-6749 to find out more about what options may be available to you.
Small Group Health Insurance Plans
In the Small Group Market (for employers with 2-100 employees), the overall average change in premiums will be a 3.8% increase over the 2020 premiums. Thirteen companies will offer Colorado’s small businesses 429 health insurance plans for 2021.
Find more information about the small group plans - including a county-by-county breakdown of available plans in 2021, as well as the average premium changes by county at the DOI website for approved health insurance plans.
Consumers who have questions about their current plans should contact their insurance company, Connect for Health Colorado, their insurance broker, their employer or the Division of Insurance (303-894-7490 / 800-930-3745 / DORA_Insurance@state.co.us).
The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) regulates the insurance industry and assists consumers and other stakeholders with insurance issues. Visit dora.colorado.gov/insurance for more information or call 303-894-7499 / toll free 800-930-3745.
DORA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 1-800-886-7675.