$67M doled out to those aiding others navigate health care

Insurance Division lists health care costs for uninsured Coloradans

In the District of Columbia, exchange spokesman Richard Sorian said, about 35 organizations have received training to help people enroll, and a call center will be open 24 hours a day and seven days a week to answer questions, because some people who may be eligible for subsidies may work two or three jobs. District officials have also asked for help from community leaders, such as churches, African-American groups, African-immigrant organizations and LGBT groups, as well as the Chamber of Commerce and the restaurant association. “We see the population that is uninsured as fairly hard to reach,” Sorian said. “So we’re taking a systematic approach.” In Hawaii, the state will start running television advertisements and they are making presentations to community organizations that will also promote the exchanges, said Brian Fitzgerald, spokesman for the Hawaii Health Connector. “I think people are just now realizing the law takes effect Jan. 1, and they’re saying, ‘What do I need to do?'” he said. “There’s a lot of excitement.” Illinois has just started training its navigators, and 44 community organizations will help enroll people in insurance, state health care spokesman Mike Claffey said. In Maryland, officials are training 325 navigators and 5,000 aides known as “assistors,” said Danielle Davis, spokeswoman for the Maryland Health Connection, beginning the last week in August. In Arkansas, the Health Connector website launched July 1 and has had 91,000 individual hits. “We’ve had robust outreach in every county,” said Deputy Insurance Commissioner Cindy Crone. “We’ve had a lot of positive response.” They have a state “guide” program to help the federal navigator program, but state legislators decided all of those who assist people must have licenses.

straight from the source http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/08/15/navigators-affordable-care-act/2658753/

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

Health officials are trying to soften the sticker shock by talking up additional benefits those young and healthy consumers will see under the new health insurance plans, such as lower out-of-pocket costs and free preventive care and cancer screenings. “While it is tempting to compare the costs for the new plans to current ones, it is important to remember that these are new plans with new benefits and new requirements, so it is not an ‘apples to apples’ comparison.” Interim Insurance Commissioner Doug Dean said in a statement. The rates released Friday show the complicated decisions facing Colorado’s uninsured. First, rates and options will depend on where in Colorado a customer lives. Let’s say 40-year-old customer seeking individual insurance through the exchange wants a “bronze” plan, meaning insurance would cover 60 percent of their health care costs. That 40-year old would have 16 insurers to choose from, with monthly premiums from $186 to $364, if they live in Denver. The same customer living in Grand Junction would have just eight insurers to choose from, with monthly premiums ranging from $237 to $400. And if the same customer is living in Greeley, they’d have 13 insurers to choose from, with monthly premiums ranging from $177 a month to $296 a month. A 40-year-old customer who wants to use the exchange to buy an individual “platinum” plan, in which insurance would cover 90 percent of their costs, has even fewer options. That customer would have two insurers to choose from in Denver, one insurer to choose from in Colorado Springs, Pueblo and far Eastern Colorado, and no insurers at all through the exchange in Boulder, Fort Collins, Grand Junction or Greeley. The Insurance Division also approved rates for small group plans, affecting businesses with more than 50 employees. For the least expensive small group plan, monthly base rates for premiums range from $224 with Kaiser Permanente to $1,003 with Humana Insurance Co. Finally, the Division released rates for 221 kinds of optional dental insurance.

at bing http://www.dailycamera.com/state-west-news/ci_23881356/insurance-division-lists-health-care-costs-uninsured-coloradans

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