You have until Friday, Jan. 12, to sign up for health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado
, the state marketplace set up by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Plans purchased between now and then will go into effect Feb. 1. After that, you can only access the exchange if you experience a "life-changing event," like marriage, divorce, having a child, losing employer-sponsored insurance or moving to Colorado. So, if you're an individual who isn't covered by an employer or government-sponsored plan and you haven't selected a plan through the exchange, then chop chop! Here's the link.
By the way, you may have heard the President's claims that the new federal tax cuts "repealed Obamacare." In fact, all they did was repeal the provision requiring all Americans be covered. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates 13 million fewer people will be insured as a result of the individual mandate repeal, but other parts of the ACA, or Obamacare, including the state marketplaces and premium subsidies, remain intact. Even though you won't face a tax penalty for not having coverage, health insurance is still a pretty good way to avoid medical bankruptcy.
Over 158,000 Coloradans have already signed up through the exchange so far this year.
That's a 2 percent greater enrollment rate than last year, despite all the regulatory uncertainty caused by Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill. (Recall, in the end, the majority party in Congress ended up failing to deliver on its central campaign promise of "repealing and replacing Obamacare." They did succeed in making the price of insurance skyrocket.)
As the Indy
has previously reported, most consumers still stand to save
an average of 20 percent on premiums this year because tax credits will rise proportionately. There are a number of coverage options in this region, so it's important to compare costs, benefits and other factors.