Colorado’s health insurance marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado, is schedule and Colorado knows what’s coming on the October 1 launch – a deluge of new enrollments. Colorado is expecting about 150,000 residents to sign up for health insurance coverage during the first enrollment period. Some number crunching reveals a strenuous task – Colorado officials will have to enroll 800 applicants a day in the first six month enrollment period to meet this new demand for health insurance.
Surprisingly, this is just a glimpse into the mammoth task that awaits the state health insurance marketplace of Colorado. It is expected that this number will continue to multiply. Therefore, it becomes necessary for Colorado to devise a strategy and implement against the plan in order to control and handle this huge influx of enrollments. Fortunately, Colorado does have a plan.
Jim Sugden, Connect for Health’s small business manager, believes that this is a time to request all the assistance they can get. The independent insurance brokers are their first target. The state of Colorado believes that
• There are hundreds of private health insurance brokers who can become certified partners and help in taking the load off the state in enrolling the uninsured residents of Colorado. The brokers’ assistance will alleviate a lot of the demand that Connect for Health will experience.
• The brokers will also benefit – the certification from Connect for Health Colorado will allow them to expand their role by integrating with the exchange and expanding their customer.
• Consumers will have an advantage of buying directly off the exchange or approaching a broker for the entire process. Working with a broker will not cost the consumer as the broker’s fee will be paid by the carrier. The state will be reviewing broker activities to ensure that guidance is impartial and in the best interests of the consumer.
The brokers are apparently in favor of this approach. Nearly 1,200 brokers have enrolled for the state training program to get acquainted with the process and become certified for selling through the health insurance marketplace. Health insurance firms are looking to hire more brokers and, therefore, are adding jobs to the economy.
In a nutshell, Colorado’s strategy of roping in brokers is proving beneficial for everybody, including consumers.