Thousands Lose Health Insurance Coverage in Colorado


More than 200,000 Coloradans are losing their health insurance because of the federal overhaul. That's according to the state Division of Insurance in a count of lives on health plans canceled by 23 carriers in the wake of new requirements.

Shannon Moeck got two letters from her insurance company recently: the first reassuring her their standards met those outlined by new federal regulations.

"We will no longer offer your current health plan in the state of Colorado," Moeck said, reading from the second and most recent letter.

The Division announced Wednesday that In the individual market 106,083 people are on plans that are getting canceled.

In the small group market, the policies terminated by 10 carriers represent 143,116 covered lives.

In some cases, the insurance plans do not include the benefits that are required by the law as of January 1. Under the ACA, insurance plans are required to provide coverage in 10 "essential health benefits" categories: ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, laboratory services, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance abuse services, prescription drugs, rehabilitative and habilitate services and devices, preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management, and pediatric services.

In other cases, the companies don't want to write that particular line of business any longer.

Her current plan will run out next February. Shannon’s husband is shopping around for new plans for their family of four, which they're finding so far will likely cost hundreds more per month than what they are paying now.

"I get what they're trying to do which is give affordable health care for everybody,” she said. “It does help some people, but it's not helping me."

Colorado Division of Insurance Commissioner Maguerite Salazar pointed out in a written statement Wednesday, "Coloradans have many new options for next year, due to the strength and competitiveness of our health insurance market."

Seventy-five percent of the people on terminated plans in Colorado have coverage through two carriers, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado and Anthem's HMO Colorado. The carriers are offering dozens of new plans for 2014.

To have coverage beginning at the first of the year, you have to buy coverage by December 15. If you make less than 400 percent of the federal poverty line, which in 2013 is $45,960 for a single adult and $94,200 for a family of four, you might qualify for a federal subsidy to help pay for insurance.