Presentation of Connect for Health Colorado's Annual Report
COMMITTEE ON JOINT HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
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02:52 PM -- Presentation of Connect for Health Colorado's Annual Report
Sharon O' Hara, Board Chair, Connect for Health Colorado, Steve ErkenBrack, Vice-Chair, Connect for Health Colorado, and Kevin Patterson, CEO, Connect for Health Colorado, presented on the annual update for Connect for Health Colorado, the state exchange for health insurance plans. Ms. O'Hara referenced a copy of the annual report that was provided to the committee (Attachment E). Mr. ErkenBrack gave an overview of Connect for Health Colorado and explained to the committee that it is a pro-market insurance exchange model with a board of directors that includes carriers, consumers, and providers. He explained that the Connect for Health Colorado staff is working on problems identified by the Office of the State Auditor's and the Colorado Health Insurance Exchange Oversight Committee.
Mr. Patterson introduced the annual report to the committee, and noted that the open enrollment period for Connect for Health Colorado has not yet closed. He explained customer demographics and tax credits offered through Connect for Health Colorado. He talked about customer experience with Connect for Health Colorado, and noted improvements in technology and customer service call response time. Mr. Patterson explained the relationship between brokers and customers and discussed the community-based assistance plan within Connect for Health Colorado.
Mr. Patterson responded to questions from the committee. He explained the hold system for the call center and described the internet tool which allows customers to check whether specific doctors and drugs are covered under various insurance plans. Mr. Patterson explained that the information directories for Connect for Health Colorado are updated with information directly from carriers.
In response to a question, Mr. ErkenBrack discussed the low participation rate in Connect for Health Colorado for the rural counties. Committee members expressed concern over higher medical costs in rural areas of the state. Mr. ErkenBrack explained the cause of higher prices. Mr. Patterson gave more details on the role of the broker in Connect for Health Colorado. In response to a question, Mr. Patterson described the difference between brokers and navigators.
Members expressed concerns over prescription drug costs and the price of health insurance plans. Mr. ErkenBrack discussed cost effective measures in health care, and the importance of preventative and integrated care.
Mr. Patterson discussed the 2016-17 budget for Connect for Health Colorado. Mr Patterson explained the implications should some carriers opt not to continue to offer plans through Connect for Health Colorado next year. In response to a question, Mr. Patterson gave an update on the issue of federal reimbursement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for Connect for Health Colorado.
Members discussed rising health insurance deductibles and premiums. Mr. ErkenBrack reiterated that health care costs in the state have risen because of mandates in 2014 and 2016, and he noted that the increase in price should not be as severe in the future.
Member expressed concern over constituents reporting the cancellation of health insurance plans. Mr. Patterson noted that the exchange does not track specific information about the cancellations of insurance plans. Mr. ErkenBrack explained the different options available to consumers after they have received a cancellation or notice from an insurance company.
Mr. Patterson clarified the non-federal revenues in the Connect for Health Colorado budget, in response to a question. He stated that broker fees are not included in the Connect for Health Colorado budget.
Mr. Patterson clarified enrollment numbers and plan choices and gave concluding remarks.
Representative McCann adjourned the meeting.