Colorado health insurance premiums stabilize 

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Health insurance premiums appear to be stabilizing after sharp rises in past years.

The Colorado Division of Insurance approved individual health insurance plans that will increase an average of 5.6 percent next year — a sharp change over last year’s 32 percent average increase.

“This is an average for all individual plans, from all insurance companies, in all areas of the state, for all ages,” the division says in a release. “The specific plan purchased, along with a person’s age and residential location, will impact their specific premium, making it higher or lower than the average. Part of this average includes the DOI’s approval of one company’s request, Anthem, for an average decrease in their premiums.”

In the small group market, those covering employers with two to 100 employees, the average increase will be 7.28 percent.

“The 2019 premiums are the lowest we’ve approved in years, with minimal increases and, in some cases, decreases,” Interim Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway said in the release.

The same seven health insurance companies that sold individual plans in 2018 will return for 2019, including Anthem (as HMO Colorado), Bright Health, Cigna Health and Life, Denver Health Medical Plans, Friday Health Plans, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado and Rocky Mountain HMO.

Meantime, customers of Connect for Health Colorado, a nonprofit that created a health insurance marketplace to help families and small employers compare plans and find insurance, will see an average decrease in their net (after tax credit) premium of 24 percent in 2019, Connect for Health Colorado said in a release. Connect for Health Colorado says two out of three of its more than 100,000 customers who qualify for financial help can find a bronze level plan, which comes with higher deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs, for zero net premium. New customers coming to the agency for 2019 who qualify for financial help “will, on average, see their premiums reduced by 80 percent,” the release said.


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