The story about “sticker shock” for insurance shoppers (Herald, Dec. 23) has the potential to mislead and unnecessarily concern a high percentage of the people who ought to be shopping for health insurance on Colorado’s new online marketplace, www.connectforhealthco.com. The story was faulty in not even mentioning tax credits and other benefits that would apply to the people who were examples of sticker shock.
In actual fact, according to the calculator function on the Connect for Health website, a 29-year-old Durango resident making $20,000 per year would likely qualify for a plan with only a $250 deductible and an annual out-of-pocket maximum of $1200. The monthly cost for that plan is less than $78 per month when her tax credits are applied. Even a family of six, like the one mentioned, would likely pay less than $800/month for a silver plan – even with an income of $100,000 per year because of tax credits.
Insurance shoppers in Colorado can easily find a very accurate estimate of their tax credits and actual costs by using the calculator at http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/ (an independent, unbiased site) or the one at www.connectforhealthco.com. Please don’t make any decisions or judgments until you have correct information from one of these websites or a local Health Coverage Guide.
Kevin O’Connor, health coverage guide, Connect for Health Assistance Network