Spencer Campbell, 5280
In 2011, when the Colorado General Assembly created a state-run Obamacare bazaar, the intent was “to increase access, affordability, and choice for individuals and small employers purchasing health insurance.” The health-benefits exchange, Connect for Health Colorado (CFHC), went live in October 2013. And although a change this systemic needs years before it can be judged fairly, two years seems time enough to see if it’s trending in the right direction.
Those who do sign up aren’t springing for the deluxe package. Affordable Care Act plans fall under “metal” tiers, from platinum (the most expensive premiums) to bronze (least expensive). At 41 percent, the Centennial State has the highest share of bronze enrollees in the country. The problem is, the average bronze copay for a primary care visit in Colorado is $48, while the deductible is $5,265, according to the Commonwealth Fund, which supports health-care research.
That may explain why the CHI found that Coloradans with CFHC insurance were less likely (compared to those with non-CFHC insurance) to have visited their doctors in the past year—which affects not only their health but also the future of CFHC. “If a person purchases health insurance in the exchange and doesn’t particularly know how to use it or access care, they may not see the benefit [to their health] and not re-enroll,” says Adela Flores-Brennan, executive director of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and a CFHC board member.
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