“Health is wealth” is a true saying and making sure you secure your health is wise. Health insurance is a very important purchase. It protects you and your finances from any adverse damages. However, finding affordable health insurance in Colorado plans might be a little tricky.
Health insurance providers in Colorado use a number of risk factors to determine the rates you pay for your health insurance.
These factors include age, body mass index, smoking habit, past medical history, geographical location, type of policy you purchase etc.
These factors can either raise or lower the cost of your health insurance. Let us consider a few:
- Body Mass Index (BMI)
The BMI is a measure that relates body weight to height. Having a high body mass index increases your chances of health complications. People with a high BMI are susceptible to having heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure etc.
This is an added risk and for this reason, are likely to pay higher premiums on health insurance.
Maintaining a good and healthy BMI improves your health and saves you more money on your health insurance.
It is widely known that smoking endangers your health. Smoking increases the risk of having cancer, lung disease, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and so many more harmful diseases.
Health insurance providers weigh these risks and most likely, charge smokers more for health insurance.
As a smoker, if you want to cut costs on your premium and improve your health, it is best to stop smoking.
The Centennial State, otherwise called Colorado uses a metal tier system to categorize health insurance policies. They include the bronze, silver and gold tiers.
Monthly premiums for the more valuable tiers cost higher with low deductibles and out of pocket maximums while premiums for the lower tiers cost less but have higher deductibles and out of pocket maxes.
Age is a major determinant of how much you pay on your insurance policy. It’s is more likely for you to use health care services as you age so your rates increase as you grow older.
For instance; a 60-year-old on a silver plan would pay twice as much a 40-year-old would pay for health insurance. That’s an extra $459 more per month. In the same manner, compared to 20-year-olds on a silver policy, 40-year-olds pay an extra $89 which is a 28% increase.
The cheapest health insurance plan for most people in Colorado is from Friday Health or Rocky Mountain Health Plans. These providers are the cheapest options in 64% of the state’s counties.
Best health insurance coverage in Colorado
Finding the best health insurance coverage for you would be determined by your financial capacity and your medical needs. When choosing a plan, you must carefully consider your monthly premiums and deductibles.
Below are some steps that would help you decide which health policy is best and most affordable for you in Colorado:
In your search, start with Silver plans. The Silver plan is an affordable policy with decent premiums having a deductible and out-of-pocket maximum between Bronze and Gold tiers. Silver plans are ideal for most people and are the only insurance plans eligible for CSR(cost-sharing Reductions) if you are below 250% of the federal poverty level. These reductions also decrease your deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance. Silver plans sometimes provide more benefits compared to gold plans.
Bright Health Peak Silver 3000 is the cheapest silver plan in Colorado.
If you need regular medical care, gold plans are just right for you. Gold is the highest tier insurance plan and one with the most expensive monthly premiums in Colorado. This plan also has the lowest deductibles and out of pocket maximums. Gold plans cover about 90% of your medical expenses and you pay only 10%.
Gold plans are the best option if you would be needing regular medical care and consequently, have high medical costs.
Denver Health Medical Plan Elevate Gold Select is the cheapest gold plan in Colorado.
The bronze tier is the cheapest health insurance tier and is best for people who are young and healthy. This tier covers about 60% of your total medical costs while you pay the rest. This plan is a good choice because of the low monthly premiums. The bronze tier has the highest deductibles and out of pocket maximums and therefore are recommended for people with optimum health.
However, the plan’s preventative care benefits help policyholders stay on top of routine health care, and the insurance policy will give you some financial protection if you need significant health care unexpectedly.
Bright Health Bronze 8700 Limited is the cheapest bronze plan available in Colorado.
Short-term health insurance in Colorado
In Colorado, short-term health insurance is not available for purchase. In 2019 the state changed its rules for short-term health insurance and although short-term health insurance is permitted in Colorado, health insurance providers stopped offering short-term plans in the state.
If you need a more affordable solution than traditional health insurance, a short term plan will be useful. However, it is important to recognize that short-term health insurance policies do not typically cover the same essential advantages as ACA policies.
Health insurance companies in Colorado
Presently in Colorado, there are eight health insurance companies that offer health policies through the state exchange :
- Anthem BlueCross BlueShield
- Bright HealthCare
- Elevate by Denver Health Medical Plan
- Friday Health Plans
- Kaiser Permanente
- Rocky Mountain Health Plans
- Cheapest Silver plan by county
The cost you pay for health insurance can change depending on the area you live. Therefore, it is advisable that when purchasing a health plan, it’s important to first identify the policies available and affordable in your county.
For instance, the most affordable Silver plan offered in Denver County is from Rocky Mountain Health Plans, while the cheapest in El Paso County, is from Bright Health.
In Colorado, the average cost of health insurance across all metal tiers is $383 per month and it is 1% cheaper than it was in 2021.
There was a 4% drop in the price of gold plans and that was the biggest change in price this year. This year is the second year since the price of gold plans have dipped.
Gold health insurance plans costs $56 per month less in 2022 than in 2020.
The cost for Silver health insurance plans increased 1% in 2022 which is a relatively minor change that added an extra $6 to monthly premium costs.