October 31, 2019 Media

Colorado Politics: DeGette to kick off open enrollment in Denver for state health exchange

A day after voting on impeachment in the nation’s capital, U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette will be encouraging Coloradans to get insured or shop around for a policy.

Open enrollment for Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s health insurance marketplace. begins Friday. At 10:30 a.m. DeGette will lead an event at Servicios de la Raza at 3131 W. 14th Ave. in Denver.

She will be joined by Kevin Patterson, the CEO of Connect for Health, as well as Rudy Gonzales, the executive director of Servicios de la Raza, and Hilda Gonzalez, the program manager for the community service organization.

Premiums are expected to be cheaper this year for the first time since the state health exchange opened in 2013, but more savings could be found by shopping around for coverage among the eight insurers in marketplace, using Connect for Health’s revamped website, Patterson said Wednesday.

The exchange was created by the state legislature to comply with President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

“Colorado remains at the forefront of expanding healthcare coverage, six years after the Affordable Care Act took full effect,” Connect for Health said in a media advisory Thursday. “Speakers will provide perspectives from the national, state and neighborhood level on the first day of the Seventh Open Enrollment Period for the individual health insurance market in Colorado.”

DeGette is expected to deliver an update on national policy. Democrats are making a big push in Colorado and elsewhere to make health care an election-year issue, after making gains against President Trump and the Republicans running for Congress in last year’s mid-terms.

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner is atop the Democrats’ list of candidates they hope to take down on the issue, citing his support for legislation and other Republican largely unsuccessful efforts to repeal or amend Obamacare,

“Rudy Gonzales and Hilda Gonzalez will talk about the importance of grassroots work and promote the free in-person help they provide to Coloradans enrolling in health insurance,” Connect for Health said Thursday.

The community organization offers free help for those shopping for insurance.