Over the summer, Colorado-based Friday Health collapsed and was declared insolvent by Colorado insurance regulators, forcing thousands of Colorado policyholders to scramble to seek new health insurance to avoid a break in coverage.
Friday Health insurance coverage ceased as of the end of August. Friday Health will not pay new claims initiated after that date.
Policyholders are eligible for a special enrollment period, which gives them the guaranteed right to enroll in a new health plan regardless of their medical history, even outside the normal open enrollment period. This special enrollment period ends October 31st.
If you’re a former Friday Health customer in Colorado, you should enroll in a new insurance plan by the end of October to have a November 1st start date.
Technically, since Open Enrollment starts November 1st, you can choose a new plan any time until the end of the year.
But If you don’t take advantage of your Special Enrollment Period by the end of October, unless you have some other qualifying life event that triggers another Special Enrollment Period, your new coverage will not become effective until January 1st at the earliest.
That’s a long time to go without a health plan. An injury or illness during a lapse in coverage can have potentially devastating financial consequences.
COLORADO HEALTH INSURANCE
The Colorado Health Sharing Alternative
However, you can sign up for a new health sharing plan at any time during the year.
Health sharing plans are generally available for a fraction of the cost of unsubsidized traditional health insurance premiums.
These aren’t health insurance plans. Instead, health sharing plans are non-profit associations of like-minded, health-conscious individuals who agree to help share medical expenses of their fellow members.
They help spread the risk of high medical expenses among large groups of people, without involving the insurance industry or Obamacare.
Many of these organizations are faith-based, but not all. Some are completely secular.
However, they may not be suitable if you or a member of your household has pre-existing conditions. This is because they typically impose a waiting period before they will share costs related to pre-existing conditions.
ColoHealth is by far the leading health plan broker in Colorado when it comes to helping people connect with the best health sharing alternative, and one of the few broker firms who can talk to you about all your health plan options – including the ones that Big Insurance doesn’t want you to know about.
What To Do Now
Any former Friday Health policyholder residing in Colorado should contact a ColoHealth Personal Benefits Manager and make an appointment for not later than October 31st to select and enroll in a new health plan.
As long as you complete your enrollment by October 31st, your new plans will be effective on November 1st.
The special enrollment period available to former Friday Health customers is distinct from the general Open Enrollment Period beginning November 1st. Under that provision, no insurance policy bought via the exchanges would become effective prior to January 1st.
The Special Enrollment Period available to former Friday Health customers allows coverage to become effective November 1st, but only if you enroll before October 31st.
Do I need to meet another deductible?
Some clients we talk to are worried about having to meet another deductible with their new health plan, having already met their annual deductible, or a big chunk of it, with Friday Health.
Two insurance companies doing business in Colorado, Kaiser Permanente and Rocky Mountain Health Plans, have agreed to honor any progress you’ve made with Friday Health toward your 2023 deductible.
The other carriers doing business in Colorado will not credit your previous expenses, if any, toward your deductible.
This could potentially save thousands, if you have or expect significant medical expenses between now and December 31st.
Here are some additional blogs for further reading: The Colorado Health Insurance Open Enrollment Guide 2024: How To Select the Best Health Insurance Plan in Colorado | Why Is Colorado Health Insurance So Expensive? | Best Health Plans in Colorado for Families