Health exchange has its busiest day yet

Enrollment in health insurance sold through the Colorado marketplace rose to nearly 43,000 Monday, which was the marketplace’s busiest day of the year, handling 5,354 enrollments.

The marketplace, ConnectforHealthColorado.com, emphasized on Tuesday that it can accommodate enrollments through Friday that will be effective on Jan. 1.

The Colorado marketplace is separate from the federal marketplace, Healthcare.gov. Colorado is one of 14 states that elected to establish their own marketplaces in response to the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that individuals obtain health insurance.

ConnectforHealthColorado.com contains a link that allows consumers whose insurance was canceled because of the Affordable Care Act to apply for what is termed catastrophic insurance. President Barack Obama made the option to purchase catastrophic insurance available to people whose insurance policies were canceled because they didn’t meet standards in the Affordable Care Act.

Coloradans who want to buy catastrophic insurance can follow the link to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which will determine whether consumers are eligible for exemptions allowing them to purchase the catastrophic insurance policies.

Consumers then submit forms showing their eligibility to insurers.

No information was immediately available Tuesday as to the length of time needed to obtain clearance through the federal agency.

Advance premium tax credits are unavailable for such purposes, but eligible consumers may be able to obtain bronze or even silver plans instead, according to the Colorado Division of Insurance.

Connect for Health Colorado will be closed today, but the website will operate and the customer service center will work with consumers through Friday to help them obtain coverage that will be effective Jan. 1.

The current period is the beginning of open enrollment, which continues through March 31.

There are an estimated 853,000 uninsured Coloradans, or 19.9 percent of the population, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the number of uninsured people in Colorado is expected to fall to 464,000, or 9.6 percent, of the population.


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