Health Insurance Marketplace Launches in Colorado

On October 1, 2013, the Connect for Health Colorado (C4HCO) Health Insurance Marketplace officially launched, allowing thousands of Coloradans the opportunity to start signing up for health benefits. C4HCO reported that by 8pm on the first day of the Marketplace, after only twelve hours of being open, over 79,000 visitors had already created profiles to begin accessing health benefits!

As individuals and families throughout Colorado begin signing up to receive benefits starting January 1, 2014, Colorado Community Health Centers (CHCs) are supporting their patients and community members in the enrollment process. As part of their comprehensive services, CHCs have already been providing enrollment support for health benefits for their patients, so CHCs are well equipped to respond to expanded eligibility through health care reform.

Not only have CHCs already been assisting with health benefit applications, but their patient-centered, culturally competent model of care ensures that they will be able to provide the support their communities and patients need to successfully navigate new health benefits options and systems.  High Plains Community Health Center, Metro Community Provider Network, Mountain Family Health Center, Salud Family Health Center, and Valley-Wide Health Systems, Inc. are members of the Colorado CHC family that have volunteered to act as Assistance Sites. Assistance Sites are organizations designated as locations for community members to get help with new health care choices and applications.  Health coverage guides work at each of these sites, and provide community members with information about health insurance options as well as help with the application process. These five CHCs aren’t the only ones providing health benefit support, though; 17 of Colorado’s CHCs have outreach and enrollment staff available to assist patients with questions about their exciting new insurance options. CHCs throughout Colorado are playing an essential role in health care reform!

All of the changes coming with health care reform can be complex and confusing. To help understand the resources available, the Colorado Community Health Network (CCHN) has put together a page about outreach and enrollment resources. Visit the page here to learn more about health care reform efforts taking place throughout the state. Or, for a complete list of Assistance Sites click here.

If you are interested in being part of the health care reform movement by joining a team at one of Colorado’s CHCs, check out the CHAMPS job board for job postings! For more information about the 18 CHCs in Colorado, visit CCHN’s webpage.