The next general open enrollment period will be Nov. 15, 2014 through February 15, 2015, noted Lynn Caretta of the Montrose Connect for Health office, located in the Chamber of Commerce building at 1519 East Main Street. However, special enrollment is open now to those who qualify.
Those who meet and work with new arrivals are essential in letting new residents know about the special opportunity to sign up, Connect for Health Montrose staffer Alicia Plantz said.
“We want to make sure that people moving to Colorado know about this,” Plantz said. “If you are new to the area, you actually have 60 days to get great health care through the exchange.”
Life-changing events such as a change of jobs can also qualify someone for special enrollment, she said.
“If you have a baby, you can sign up,” she said. “Or if your current insurance is not adequate.
“Medicaid income eligibility guidelines have also been increased, allowing access to more Coloradoans,” she said. “Don’t pass up this opportunity to come by our comfy office to see what you qualify for.”
Also eligible for special enrollment are those whose employers recently stopped offering coverage to an individual or family.
“If you had coverage during open enrollment through an employer who has since stopped offering that benefit, your family can shop on Connect for Health,” Caretta said.
Caretta said that more than 1,200 local people have looked into obtaining coverage through the marketplace, whether by coming to the Connect for Health office or going through a private broker.
Among those who have already done so is Mary Leu of Montrose.
“Before the Affordable Care Act was passed in January of 2014, I was paying around $450 a month for a health insurance plan with a $5,000 deductible,” Leu said. “Although my premium was pretty high I was managing. But a few months ago my insurance company informed me they would be raising my monthly premium to almost $600 a month!”
A neighbor suggested that Leu speak with health care coverage guides, who helped her research and select a plan, and assisted her through the “pretty intimidating” online signup process.
“I now pay less than $200 a month for a better plan than I had before,” Leu said.
To reach the local Connect for Health office, call 970-252-0660.