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Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

Colorado Announces Health Insurance Rates

By Randy Dotinga

Reviewed by Lisa Zamosky

WebMD Health News

Aug. 22, 2013 -- Colorado has announced the rates for health insurance for individuals and small businesses through the state’s new Marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado.

The premiums vary widely because plans have different deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. For a 40-year-old nonsmoker who wants individual coverage, policies at the bronze level will range from $177 to $524 a month, depending on what part of the state the person lives in.

"While it is tempting to compare the costs for the new plans to current ones, it is important to remember that these are new plans with new benefits and new requirements, so it is not an 'apples to apples' comparison," says Colorado Interim Insurance Commissioner Doug Dean in a news release. "We encourage every purchaser to shop around and consider what's best for their particular needs."

A total of 242 plans will be available -- 150 for individuals and 92 for small business -- from 12 companies.

The companies will offer plans at four levels -- bronze, silver, gold, and platinum -- plus catastrophic coverage. However, not every plan is available at every level. On average, bronze plans will cover 60% of your costs.  Silver, gold, and platinum plans will cover 70%, 80%, and 90% of costs. Catastrophic plans have lower premiums but higher deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses.

People who have insurance through their workplace or are on Medicare, which includes the majority of residents, won't be affected by the new options and rates. Financial aid for people with lower incomes is available.

Colorado Health Insurance Premiums

Here are some examples of premiums available through the Marketplace. They do not include financial aid.

  • A single, 40-year-old nonsmoker in Boulder who chooses a silver plan would pay from $245 to $465 a month.
  • A single, 27-year-old nonsmoker in Pueblo who chooses a catastrophic plan would pay from $167 to $282 a month. Catastrophic coverage is designed for people under 30 and those who are older and meet certain financial eligibility requirements.
  • A single, 40-year-old nonsmoker in Denver who chooses a silver plan would pay from $245 to $460 a month.
  • A single, 40-year-old nonsmoker in Fort Collins who chooses a silver plan would pay from $233 to $501 a month.

The policies will go on sale Oct. 1. Coverage will start Jan. 1, 2014, if you sign up by mid-December.

Under the Affordable Care Act, signed into law in 2010, each state must have a health insurance Marketplace in place by Oct. 1. Most Americans will be required to have health insurance starting Jan. 1, 2014. Colorado is one of 17 states, along with the District of Columbia, that will run its own Marketplace.

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