“Can you explain the enrollment dates?”

The next open enrollment period for Connect For Health Colorado begins on November 15, clinic cialis  2014.  Before November 15, you can get new private health insurance for 2014 only through a special enrollment period if you have a qualifying life event which include: loss of adequate health insurance coverage, employer-sponsored coverage becomes unaffordable, gain of citizenship or legal immigration status, change in incarceration status, loss of eligibility for the exemption to purchase health insurance coverage, you got married or were legally united through a civil union or domestic partnership, your legal residence has change, your income has changed enough to impact your eligibility or amount of financial assistance.

If you feel you have a qualifying life change event you will have a 60-day special enrollment period in which you may shop for a new health plan through Connect For Health Colorado.

“Why is the new healthcare law important to LGBT people?”

The Affordable Care Act offers important benefits and protections for the LGBT community here in Colorado. Under the new healthcare law, it is illegal to deny any individual health insurance based on sexual orientation or gender status. Starting in 2014, insurers will not be able to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, including transgender people and people living with HIV/AIDS. The new healthcare law will also make it easier for same-sex couples to find health insurance providers that cover domestic partners. This feature will also be available for small businesses seeking plans for their employees.  As Kathleen Sebelius says, “The Affordable Care Act may represent the strongest foundation we have ever created to begin closing LGBT health disparities.”

“What is Connect for Health Colorado?”

Connect for Health Colorado is a new online health insurance marketplace and support network where individuals, families and small employers can shop for and buy health insurance based on quality and price. Customers will have access to new financial assistance – based on income – to reduce costs, expert help both in person or over the phone and customers can shop for and compare plans before purchasing.

“Why is it important for me to buy health insurance?”

Buying health insurance helps to protect you and your family from having to pay high costs when one of you is injured or becomes ill and needs medical care.  No one plans to get sick or hurt, but most of us need to be treated for an illness or injury at some point in our lives. Health insurance helps pay these costs. In addition, health insurance helps cover the costs of wellness care that can prevent illness and promote good health.

The cost of health care has gone up sharply over the past few decades.  A serious injury or illness or other major medical need can cause major financial problems if you don’t have health insurance.  Medical bills are the top cause of personal bankruptcy in this country.  Having health insurance protects your health and your financial future.

“Which companies will I be able to choose from?”

The following 10 insurance company’s intent to provide about 100 health plans through the marketplace: Anthem, Cigna, Colorado Choice, Colorado HealthOP, Denver Health, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, New Health Ventures, Rocky Mountain Health Plans, and a division of United.

“Can I search for plans based on my doctor?”

Yes. You can look for health plans that include your doctor or medical facility in the provider network.

“How is the Connect for Health Colorado marketplace different from other websites that sell health insurance?”

Many commercial websites sell health insurance. Connect for Health Colorado is the only non-profit marketplace for Coloradans, and is the only place where Coloradans can obtain the new kind of tax credit to reduce the cost of buying insurance.

The new kind of tax credit will generally be available to individuals earning between about $15,000 and $46,000 a year, couples earning between about $20,000 and $62,000 a year, and families of four earning between about $31,000 and $94,000 a year.  If you qualify, you can use those benefits right away. This cost-savings program is for individuals, couples and families who need health insurance, are not eligible for public health coverage such as Medicare and Medicaid, and do not have access to affordable coverage through a large employer.

“How can find out more about how this program and how it meets my specific healthcare coverage needs?”

Contact us at healthcareguide@glbtcolorado.org if you’re ready to enroll in healthcare, have general questions about your situation or are curious about how healthcare can improve your life. One of our Certified Health Coverage Guides will be in touch with you, to talk or schedule your first appointment, within 1 business day.