As healthcare marketplaces open across the country, Colorado HealthOP, one of 23 new health insurance cooperatives was launched nationwide a week ago as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Last Tuesday Colorado HealthOP announced it is selling health insurance plans to Coloradans. Colorado HealthOP’s health insurance policies are available on Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s online health insurance exchange, and through a statewide network of brokers. Coverage becomes effective in 2014.
As part of its emergence on the health insurance market, Colorado HealthOP, Colorado’s only statewide consumer-operated and oriented health plan, launched an aggressive campaign to help Coloradans without health insurance Get Covered. The campaign kicked off the morning the exchange opened, October 1, with “exposed” models on Denver’s high traffic 16th Street Mall handing out “Get Covered” cards designed to awaken consumers to the need for health insurance and outline the steps to buy coverage.
“More than 1.5 million people in Colorado lack adequate health insurance, which leaves them exposed to health problems and high medical bills. As a CO-OP focused on improving health, it’s our mission to raise awareness and help all Coloradans get covered with quality, affordable health insurance,” said Julia Hutchins, CEO of Colorado HealthOP.
As a health insurance CO-OP, Colorado HealthOP is turning health insurance upside down:
1. Colorado HealthOP is governed by its members
Colorado HealthOP does not have shareholders; instead members have a voice in how the company is run. Members elect and can serve on the board of directors. When the organization’s revenue is greater than costs, Colorado HealthOP members influence how the excess is used — by lowering premiums, adding benefits or making other improvements.
2. Colorado HealthOP’s plans reward healthy behaviors
Colorado HealthOP protects its members when they’re sick or injured—but the CO-OP also helps members get and stay healthy. After enrolling in most Colorado HealthOP insurance plans, members can take simple preventive health actions to upgrade to an enhanced plan. In an enhanced plan, members will pay less out-of-pocket when they see a doctor, and receive money on a debit card they can use to pay for health expenses.
3. Colorado HealthOP offers members choices that can reduce costs
Colorado HealthOP offers a range of plans so that individuals and families can make a choice that meets their financial and healthcare needs. The health insurance plan options include those that offer flexibility with a robust provider network, as well as tailored plans with more limited networks that people can purchase at a lower cost.
Colorado HealthOP members in some health insurance plans can also keep their healthcare costs lower by choosing from a list of preferred providers who are committed to improving quality and reducing cost.
“Coloradans have been waiting for a health insurance plan like ours, one that has their best interests at heart,” Hutchins said. “We are excited to have this opportunity to help more Coloradans get insured.”
How to Enroll
Coloradans can sign up for Colorado HealthOP health insurance by visiting Connect for Health Colorado’s website or calling Colorado HealthOP toll-free at 855-796-7676. The CO-OP’s local customer service representatives can help Coloradans enroll and answer questions about Colorado HealthOP plans. Local brokers can also help Coloradans find and enroll in plans.
Tax credits are available to people who qualify to help reduce the cost of their health insurance. Colorado HealthOP provides a free online health insurance tax credit calculator to help individuals determine if they may be eligible. For more information about Colorado HealthOP or to learn more about changes in healthcare, visit www.COHealthOP.org.