Health-insurance premiums still rising
Last Updated: 10:46 August 21, 2013
And premiums continue to increase in Colorado - just as they are increasing across the country, according to the division.
A Colorado family buying insurance coverage through an employer paid $13,600 for health insurance in 2009 on average. The amount was $3,838 more than the average $9,522 they paid five years earlier, according to the Colorado Division of Insurance.
Single employees paid $4,570 for insurance in 2009 on average. That was $925 more than the average $3,645 they paid five years earlier. The information was calculated using statistics from a federal survey.
The state insurance office recently released the information about premiums in advance of new federal rules that require all U.S. residents to carry health insurance. The sometimes controversial Affordable Care Act - also commonly called "Obamacare" - was approved by Congress in 2010 and goes into effect on Jan. 1. Many states, including Colorado, plan to start offering new, online insurance shopping sites to consumers on Oct. 1.
Starting next year, people who don't buy health insurance can be penalized on their tax returns. Companies with more than 50 employees who don't offer health insurance also can be penalized on tax returns.
Some 18 insurance companies will offer 541 new health-insurance plans approved by the state as part of the new rules, according to the press statement from the state Division of Insurance. The Top 10 largest insurance companies in Colorado account for 72.3 percent of the market.
Monthly premiums and coverage in the new plans vary widely, according to the Division of Insurance. If an individual customer wants his or her health costs to be 60 percent covered by an insurance plan, the person is expected to pay between $150 and $250 per month, depending on where he or she lives in Colorado, as just one example of the premiums and coverage offered by the plans, according to the press statement. For details of all of the approved health-insurance plans, go to:
Customers should not try to compare new insurance plan costs to current plan costs, because new federal requirements make such "apples to apples" shopping difficult, said Doug Dean, the interim insurance commissioner for the state.
"We encourage every purchaser to shop around and consider what's best for their particular needs," Dean said in the press statement.
In 2011, 57.4 percent of all Colorado residents were covered by employment-based insurance, compared to 55.1 percent of residents in other states. That worked out to about 4,239,000 insured people in Colorado, according to a Division of Insurance report released in April. In total, 68.9 percent of Coloradans are covered by either employment-based or personal health plans, higher than the estimated 64.9 percent of people who are insured across the country, according to the report.
The Colorado Division of Insurance oversees health-insurance coverage coming from more than 10.6 million different coverage plan possibilities, according to the press statement.
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