Health insurance estimates released by Colorado officials
The cost of health insurance has been a major issue since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in the U.S. The federal law has called for the establishment of exchange programs in every state, which are meant to serve as marketplaces where consumers can find affordable coverage. Exactly how affordable this coverage will actually be has been a topic of debate for the past two years. In Colorado, this debate may be coming to an end as state officials release their estimates concerning the cost of coverage provided through the state’s exchange program.
Plans could cost as little as $177 for some
According to state officials, 18 insurance companies will be offering 541 different health insurance plans for individuals and small groups through the exchange. All plans will comply with state and federal regulations concerning coverage benefits and cost. These plans will be separated into tiers based on the benefits they offer, with plans in the highest tiers having the highest premiums. According to the state’s estimates, coverage for an individual consumer aged 40 and above will range from $177 to $774 per month based on the type of coverage plan they purchase.
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Rates depend on various factors
Health insurance rates will depend heavily on several factors, such as age, location, and pre-existing medical conditions. Younger consumers are expected to see lower health insurance rates than their older counterparts, but those with pre-existing medical conditions are likely to see higher rates regardless of their age. Given the state’s estimates concerning coverage costs, officials anticipate that some 716,000 people throughout the state will receive health insurance coverage through the exchange program, called Connect for Health Colorado.
Some consumers may be eligible for financial aid from federal government
While the rates are relatively lower than what had previously been anticipated for Colorado, state officials note that many consumers could be eligible for subsidies provided by the federal government. This financial aid is meant to offset the cost of health insurance coverage and make it easier for low-income consumers to receive the coverage they need. This is also meant to help U.S. citizens avoid fines that are associated with the lack of health insurance coverage. Federal law dictates that all U.S. citizens above the age of 18 must have active health insurance policies beginning in 2014 or face financial penalties.