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Open health insurance enrollment begins Nov. 1

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For the more than 1,100 Delta County residents who purchase their health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado, open enrollment for 2019 begins on Nov. 1. This is the one time all year when customers can change their health insurance coverage, unless they experience a life-changing event. Customers will need to select a plan by Dec. 15 to have it in effect on Jan. 1, 2019. Certified brokers are available in Delta County to help.

This year, more than ever, it pays to shop! An independent analysis of 2019 plans found that if consumers switch to the lowest-cost plan available in their current coverage level (or metal tier), they could reduce their premium by an average of 50 percent. Yet many Coloradans don't check to see if they qualify, wrongly assuming they make too much money. Consumers who purchase on the individual market are encouraged to check out their options at www.ConnectForHealthCO.com.

Connect for Health Colorado is the only place to get financial help to reduce health insurance premiums. On average, that reduction takes 80 percent off the sticker price.

Of note:

• Three out of four customers who bought their health insurance with financial help this year will have an option for health insurance with a net premium less than $50 per month in 2019.

• Two out of three of customers who qualify for financial help will be able to find a bronze level plan for $0 net premium.

• Three out of four customers not receiving financial help can reduce their premium if they move to the lowest cost plan available in their current metal tier. The savings range from 4 percent to 10 percent.

While customers can't enroll in a 2019 plan until Nov. 1, they can get a jump on the process.

Even if you're happy with your current coverage, make sure you are still getting the best plan at the best value for your health and financial needs. Check out the anonymous online tool -- https://planfinder.connectforhealthco.com/home -- that helps estimate total out-of-pocket costs. This tool will allow you to quickly check your eligibility for monthly savings, factoring in your healthcare needs, doctors and medications.

A top priority for Connect for Health Colorado is community engagement. If you are a member of the health care provider community, consider serving on Connect for Colorado's board advisory group. The board advisory group meets once a month and was created to make high-level policy recommendations to the Connect for Health Colorado board of directors. For more information on this opportunity, please email board@ConnectforHealthCO.com.

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