I’m a healthy guy but according to actuarial tables and statistics, I should probably be suffering from a long-term ailment and be taking a couple of pills every morning. So far, so good. But being over 50, it does mean that my health insurance ends up being painfully expensive, and doubly so since I’m self-employed and don’t have a company or organization underwriting some of the cost. To put it into numbers, my individual health insurance for 2022 is projected to be over $600/mo. I pay it because being uninsured is far more anxiety-provoking, but it’s one of my greatest recurring expenses at this point.
And I’m not alone. Health insurance can be a crippling expense for people, particularly those self-employed, and as you get older (and your earning potential often diminishes) the cost just keeps jacking up. At a certain point, you can transition to Medicare but for a whole lot of people, that’s not on the near term horizon, and if they have dependent children it can be even more onerous. But no one in their right mind skips paying for health insurance unless they absolutely can’t afford it at all. Food or insurance? I know what I’d pick.
That’s why the Affordable Care Act was a milestone, a way for people struggling with health insurance costs to at least have more options and potentially see a subsidy that would lower the cost of their insurance. In Colorado, the program goes by the cheery name of Connect for Health Colorado and with some new subsidies available for 2022, it’s one worth checking out if you share Colorful Colorado with me.
I wasn’t sure I’d qualify, but after a couple of letters from my insurance company encouraging me to check it out, I did go to the Connect for Health Colorado Web site to learn more. I ended up calling an agent who helped me go through the necessary application form, chatting with me as I typed in name, address, income, dependents, current health coverage, etc. Time-consuming, but easy enough, and there are operators who can help you in Spanish if that’s your preferred language too.
Here’s what shocked me: Once I filled in the form, it turns out that I qualified for a substantial reduction in my monthly insurance costs, all with exactly the same coverage. Substantial being over 50% lower. That’s thousands of dollars that I’ll be able to spend on other things – like food! – rather than endlessly paying into a system that, so far, hasn’t paid out much for my healthcare. Knock, as they say, on wood.
The point in me writing this is that you too might well qualify for subsidies through the Connect for Health Colorado program, and you’ll never know if you don’t pop over to the site and fill in the form. You’ve already paid the monies in the form of taxes, why not get some of what’s yours and ease the endless strain on your budget? If you’re a resident of Boulder County, you should start at BoulderCountyHealthCoverage.org, while all other Colorado residents should pop over to ConnectForHealthCO.com and check it out. Be aware open enrollment ends on Jan 15, 2022, so don’t delay!
I definitely found it quite worth the effort and felt a great weight lift from my shoulders once I saw the approval notification.
Disclosure: I wrote this under the aegis of the Boulder County Department of Health. I had already applied and been granted aid through the program before they approached me, however, so it was just kismet that I had this personal experience too.