The monthly cost to buy health insurance from the state’s individual marketplace is expected to rise about 11.3% in 2023, though the “Colorado Option” may offer a lower-priced alternative.
The Colorado Division of Insurance released preliminary information Tuesday about the 399 plans that will be available through Connect for Health Colorado, the state-run marketplace. The rates won’t be finalized until mid-October.
The overall rates don’t account for any subsidies that buyers receive based on their income. It’s not clear if Congress will extend larger subsidies for marketplace plans before open enrollment starts in November. Connect for Health Colorado CEO Kevin Patterson estimated the extra subsidies lowered premiums about 16% for new enrollees.
The Colorado Option isn’t a true public option, in the sense that the state itself isn’t running the insurance plan. The state did set a standard plan design, however, and mandated that some primary care and mental health services be provided with no out-of-pocket cost. Insurers are offering 42 plans that fit within that design.
The law that creates the Colorado Option requires it to lower premiums by 5% from their 2021 levels in 2023, with further reductions in the next two years.