Common Questions on Connect for Health

What is Connect for Health Colorado?

In order to create a competitive market for health insurance, the government created a mandate that required states to open a “health insurance marketplace” or “exchange.” These exchanges were designed to create an easy system for individuals, families, and small businesses to quote, compare, and enroll in a health insurance plan. Consumers who choose to enroll through the exchange may qualify for a tax credit depending on their income level.

In 2013, the state of Colorado created Connect for Health Colorado in order to serve Coloradoans looking for health insurance plans. Applegate Consulting is certified with Connect for Health Colorado to help customers navigate the website, quote and compare, and complete the enrollment process.

Do I have to apply for Medicaid before signing-up for a plan?

No. If one can afford paying the monthly premium without any tax credit, the application for financial assistance can be bypassed. If one is looking to qualify for financial assistance to help the monthly premium, the financial assistance application must be completed. The state’s Medicaid program will review the financial assistance application first. One must be rejected by Medicaid in order to potentially receive any Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC). While it might seem like a hassle to go through this extra step, it can be worth it for some folks.

How long does signing-up for a plan take?

The estimates range from 20 minutes to 2 hours for the whole process (from creating an account to the final signature). The Medicaid application can really slow the process down; however, Applegate Consulting (AC) can be added as an authorized user to stay on top of the delay. When working with a health insurance broker like AC, the sign-up time can be significantly reduced. AC has better tools to search for doctors, facilities, and prescriptions than Connect for Health. AC has experience, training, and troubleshooting skills to handle the website and a special Connect for Health Colorado to make the process easier.

What is the deadline to get health insurance?

For health insurance coverage starting in 2017 the open enrollment period started on November 1, 2016 and ended on January 31, 2017. Consumers will not be allowed to purchase health insurance after January 31, 2017 unless the have a qualifying life event like a loss of employer coverage, change in marital status etc. Applegate Consulting offers short term medical plans and alternative plans which can be enrolled in year-round.

If I don’t get health insurance by the deadline, will I be penalized?

It depends. Most folks will be penalized; however, there are some exceptions like certain religious groups, cultural groups like Native Americans etc. Some folks might qualify to enroll in a special plan offered by Applegate Consulting giving them an exemption.

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