What Are Health Insurance Marketplaces and Exchanges?
Exchanges or marketplaces are services that enable enrollment in insurance whether that be through a public or private forum. These forums are accessible through multiple portals and websites. Colorado runs its own marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado.
Colorado Private Exchanges vs Public Exchanges
The private exchange is designed to be used by employers to allow employees the ability to enroll in whichever pre-selected plan the employers chose. The private exchange also is where individuals and small businesses shop and enroll for coverage during the open enrollment window. Consulting firms or brokers typically run the private exchange utilized by an employer. If you opt to enroll in a private exchange, you forfeit any subsidies that you may qualify for based on financial need.
The following Colorado health insurance companies are available as options on the private exchange:
- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
- UnitedHealthcare Life Insurance Company
- Humana Insurance Company
- Cigna Healthcare
- Kaiser Permanente
- Humana Health Plan
The public exchange for Colorado (Connect for Health Colorado) is run at the state level by the Office of the State Auditor Department. When using the public exchange, your application will also verify if you qualify for Medicaid, CHIP, or other discounts based on income level.
The following Colorado health insurance companies are available as options on the public exchange (There are seven carriers available for on-exchange enrollment):
- Bright Health Insurance Company (first year)
- Colorado Choice
- Denver Health Medical Plan
- Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Rocky Mountain HMO
Colorado Marketplace and Exchange Facts