Colorado’s health insurance exchange, where people shop to buy health plans on their own, is on pace for record enrollment.
Through Monday, more than 158,000 people have selected a plan on Connect for Health Colorado. That is 2 percent above last year’s figures at the same time, according to the exchange. And it puts the exchange in position possibly to break last year’s all-time high of nearly 176,000 plan selections.
Friday is the deadline to sign up for a plan on Connect for Health Colorado or through an independent broker in order to have coverage in 2018. For people whose incomes are low enough to qualify for federal government tax credits that help cover the costs of premiums, only plans bought on Connect for Health Colorado are eligible for the credits.
After Friday, people must wait until next fall to buy a plan on Connect for Health Colorado, unless they experience a life-changing event such as losing a job or getting married or divorced.
About 8 percent of people in Colorado buy health insurance on their own, either through Connect for Health or a broker.
Connect for Health’s strong open enrollment period so far comes despite rising premiums for plans on the exchange and ongoing federal debate about changing or repealing the Affordable Care Act, the federal law also known as Obamacare that provides for the premium subsidies and other insurance regulations.
“I urge anyone who does not have coverage yet to go to our site and see if they qualify for financial help,” Kevin Patterson, Connect for Health’s CEO, said in a statement. “My message is, ‘Don’t leave money on the table.’ We know that too many Coloradans who qualify for financial help think that they don’t.”