Starting this week, the Colorado's health insurance exchange has a new name and website - "Connect for Health Colorado" and www.connectforhealthco.org.
The website is designed to help people understand how the new exchange will work, how it affects different populations and to answer questions about health insurance and the operation of the exchange.
Coloradans can begin using the exchange to shop for health insurance on Oct. 1, 2013; the insurance will take effect on Jan. 1, 2014.
Individuals and small businesses (with 50 or fewer employees) will be able to purchase private health insurance in either the individual market exchange or the SHOP (Small Business Health Option Program) exchange. Lower-income Coloradans who qualify for federal coverage subsidies can use them in the exchange. Colorado's SHOP exchange will offer a variety of plans for small-business employees. The federal exchange that some states will use will not offer that option in their first year of operation.
The new website offers a variety of features:
- Easy-to-understand answers to common questions about health insurance and the exchange for individuals and families. There is also a section for small businesses.
- Links to a glossary of terms, a FAQ section and a section called Insurance 101.
- Videos on "How it Works-Colorado's Health Insurance Marketplace," "Health Insurance for Colorado Small Business Owners," "Heath Insurance Choices for Colorado Families" and" Health Insurance Choices for Self-Employed in Colorado."
- Calculators for individuals and small businesses. Individuals can determine if they qualify for a subsidy or a public health insurance program. The calculator will give the amount of any subsidy. Small businesses can determine if they are eligible for a tax credit (and the amount), and there is a directory to help them understand how insurance brokers can be used in this process.
- A section called What to Expect that explains the basics of the exchange and what users can expect when the exchange opens for business in October.