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Health exchange open for Coloradans dropped from Medicaid rolls

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Eric Galatas

(Colorado News Connection) Coloradans who were dropped from the state's Medicaid health insurance plan, Health First Colorado, can sign up for new coverage before open enrollment officially kicks off November 1. 

Kevin Patterson, CEO of Connect For Health Colorado, explained even in you earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, most people can get financial assistance, and two in three customers can find a plan for $25 a month or less.

"75% of all of our customers received financial help, and the average net premium after that financial help for customers who qualified was $143."

In July, nearly 70,000 Coloradans were dropped from Medicaid, yet 50,000 were still eligible, according to state data. Coloradans who lost coverage, or experienced other qualifying life-changing events, are eligible to sign up during a 60 day Special Enrollment Period. The state's one-stop marketplace, where you can re-enroll or test out new plans and prices, is available at 

Open enrollment in Colorado officially kicks off November 1 and ends January 15. 

Dr. Rhonda Randall, chief medical officer of UnitedHealthcare's commercial operations, said it is important to compare plans and make a choice that best fits your family's needs. Some plans with lower monthly premiums, for example, may have higher out-of-pocket costs, and many offer special benefits.

"Many plans include things like dental, vision, hearing, critical illness and other specialty benefits that can contribute to your overall wellbeing and help lower your out-of-pocket costs," she explained. 

Patterson said certified insurance brokers and enrollment assisters are available to help walk you through what can be a complicated process by calling 855-752-6749. These experts also offer a continuum of assistance to help you stay covered if your situation changes down the road.

"We have brokers literally in every corner of the state that are certified under Connect For Health Colorado," Patterson continued. "You'll see it on their windows as you walk in, or on their website; that can help see that you qualify for some sort of insurance."