Boulder County Excels at Health Care Enrollment

Friday, December 20, 2013

Equivalent of 13% of county’s uninsured have been enrolled, second highest among large counties

Boulder County, Colo. – Boulder County’s targeted outreach efforts around a new federal health care law appear to have been successful thus far. While Boulder County accounts for just five percent of Colorado’s total population, nearly ten percent of the 23,000 Coloradans who have enrolled in health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado, the new health insurance marketplace, are Boulder County residents. At the same time, Boulder County’s ratio of newly-enrolled residents compared to its number of uninsured residents is also nearly twice that of the state average.

“We have been out in the community since September giving presentations on the new health insurance options, and we have been doing targeted outreach through email and the U.S. mail,” said Mae Hsu, Health Coverage Manager for the Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services. “If they don’t qualify themselves, most people in Boulder County know at least one person who is probably eligible for free or lower-cost health coverage. It’s clear that one-to-one outreach to friends and family about the importance of regular health care can make a big difference.”  

Among other assistance, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 created a Premium Tax Credit to help those who qualify cover the cost of health insurance premiums. According to data from Connect for Health Colorado, from October through mid-December 2,183 Boulder County residents have enrolled in health insurance. Many of these residents are utilizing the tax credit. An estimated 16,747 Boulder County residents are uninsured but qualify for the tax credits.

Boulder resident Donna Heller lost her job in June 2013, and had to purchase health insurance for $378 per month. Her plan, which was only catastrophic coverage, had a $5,500 deductible. Heller found herself avoiding doctor visits. She contacted a Boulder County Health Coverage Guide and got help applying for insurance through Connect for Health Colorado. Through the process, Heller found that she qualified for much better coverage with no deductible for only $102 per month because she could now get a $481 monthly tax credit. “This is a blessing beyond words to be able to get this coverage,” she said. “It’s been fifteen years since I had a plan that doesn’t have a deductible, and now I can go see a doctor with just a thirty dollar co-pay. It’s nice to be on the receiving end of getting a break.”

Boulder County has six Health Coverage Guides assisting clients both through walk-ins and scheduled appointments around the county. The guides have also conducted twenty presentations on free and lower-cost health coverage options all over Boulder County since October. December 23 is the deadline for applying for coverage to begin January 1, 2014 through Connect for Health Colorado. Open enrollment runs through March 31, 2014, with policy start dates depending on the date of acceptance into the plan. Boulder County Health Coverage Guides can be reached at 303-441-1000 or

Gabi Boerkircher
Public Information Specialist

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