Colorado Option sign-up numbers are in. But the debate over the Jared Polis-backed insurance plan is far from over. | SummitDaily.com
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Colorado Option sign-up numbers are in. But the debate over the Jared Polis-backed insurance plan is far from over.

Approximately 35,000 people signed up for Colorado Option health insurance plans during the most recent open enrollment period

John Ingold
The Colorado Sun
Gov. Jared Polis delivers his big idea pitch — about a state-level “public option” health insurance plan — to the audience at The Colorado Sun’s Big Ideas 2020 Forum at the Cable Center on the University of Denver campus on Jan. 14, 2020. More recently, the governor announced that roughly 35,000 people signed up for a Colorado Option health insurance plan in the program’s first year.
Eric Lubbers/The Colorado Sun

Roughly 35,000 people signed up for a Colorado Option health insurance plan in the program’s first year, Gov. Jared Polis announced Tuesday during his State of the State speech.

The figure includes approximately 25,000 people who signed up for a Colorado Option plan through the state’s Connect for Health Colorado shopping exchange. Another 10,000 people signed up through OmniSalud, a new program offering state-subsidized insurance plans to people who lack immigration documentation and are, thus, not eligible for federal subsidies available on the main Connect for Health portal.

The number provides some of the first data to show whether the program, nearly two years in the making and a major health policy initiative for Polis and legislative Democrats, is succeeding. But, as might be expected, interpretations of the number were widely split Tuesday.



Polis touted the figure as “surpassing the original enrollment goals,” and Colorado Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway said in a statement that enrollment “far surpassed my hopes for what we would achieve in our first year.”

The Colorado Option is a state-designed insurance plan sold by private insurance companies, which both reap the reward if it is profitable and bear the risk if it isn’t. It’s basically Colorado’s market-based solution to creating a public health insurance option. Colorado Option plans are currently available only in the small-group and individual markets. Those are the places where, respectively, small companies buy plans for their workers and where people who don’t have coverage through an employer shop for coverage on their own.



Read the full story on ColoradoSun.com.


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