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The extension of the deadline for the ACA: what does it mean for Colorado?

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The Obama administration announced an extension for the March 31, 2014 deadline for enrollment in the Affordable Care Act. For people using the healthcare.gov website, which sells health plans in 36 states, if they have had trouble completing an application prior to March 31, 2014, they can claim a “special exception” and receive help to get insured. All paper applications must be submitted by April 7, 2014. Many have been quick to criticize this latest extension, especially since claiming the exception can be done solely on the basis of the honor system (no proof that any trouble was encountered) and no deadline has been set for the completion of the special exception applications.

Your Denver Personal Injury Attorney explains that states like Colorado that have their own health care exchanges can decide whether or not to grant extensions. CoveredCalifornia is not extending its deadline but will allow people who have started an online application by 11:59 pm March 31, 2014, until April 15, 2014, to complete it. In Oregon, where they are experiencing a lot of problems with their exchange, CoverOregon is granting an extension. Access Health CT, however, is standing firm to the March 31, 2014 deadline. Colorado has decided to take a Solomon-like approach: an extension will be granted but not on an honor system basis. A person must be able to show a complete application to either Medicaid or ConnectforHealthColorado that was not finalized or had some technical difficulties in order to take advantage of the extension. Coloradans who meet the March 31, 2014 deadline should receive health insurance that will be effective May 1, 2014. People who did not meet the deadline due to needing help with their applications will receive the help they need to finalize them.

Coloradans are also receiving help with the cost of the health plans. For people with very low income, Medicaid is available online all year. For people whose income is up to 400% of the poverty level, upfront tax credits are available to defray purchasing costs. In Colorado, this means that an individual earning up to $46,000/year and a family of four earning up to $94,000/year would be eligible for tax credits to assist them in paying for their new health care policies. 

Colorado ranks fifth in the country for state-run health care exchanges. Even more impressive, Colorado ranks first in the country among states for physical health and second in the country for overall well-being. Your Denver Personal Injury Attorney points out that all three statistics demonstrate Colorado’s commitment to helping its residents get and stay healthy. Colorado’s active, outdoor lifestyle definitely contributes to its low rates of cardiovascular problems, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. Admittedly, Colorado still has its challenges, especially in areas such as mental health and prenatal care. Increasing the state’s immunization rate, the subject of a previous blog, has become a priority in light of the resurgence of previously eradicated diseases. A bill to make opting out of childhood vaccinations more difficult recently passed Colorado’s statehouse and has the support of Governor Hickenlooper. Your Denver Personal Injury Attorney Jordan Levine wants to ensure you have all the proper information regarding your healthcare policy, as it can become handy in the event you would like to file a personal injury claim. Contact Levine Law today if you have experienced an incident in which you would like to discuss your options for a personal injury claim.