COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - Open enrollment for Colorado's health insurance marketplace has been extended due to the surge in Omicron cases and the devastating Marshall Fire in December.
The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI) announced an emergency regulation Wednesday that creates a special enrollment period specifically for Coloradans. Open enrollment for an individual health benefit plan closed for most Americans on January 16, but now those in Colorado have until March 16, 2022, to sign up.
The extension has been brought on due to two emergencies that have affected thousands of Coloradans. The Marshall Fire started on December 30, 2021, devastating neighborhoods in Boulder County, wiping out over 1,000 homes and businesses, and the surge in the Omicron variant of covid-19 has led to historic case numbers across the state and country.
Anyone currently without insurance in Colorado is eligible for this extension and does not need to prove they have been specifically affected by the Marshall Fire or Covid-19 surge.
"The the extension on the website just asks if you've been affected by Covid, or if you've been affected by the fires," said Antonio Briceno, an insurance agent with HealthMarkets in Colorado Springs. "I have not been told that you have to provide any proof at this time."
While it's rare to get an extension, this isn’t the first time this has happened. Last year President Joe Biden issued an extension lasting from February until August because of the pandemic.
"That was probably the most historical extension we've had, because we went so far," said Briceno. "Then President Biden also made other adjustments for people that were on unemployment, and that still stands."
Even though you now have until March to get insured, Briceno says it’s best to act right now so you know an agent is available to help you navigate the marketplace.
This regulation applies to all carriers offering individual health benefit plans subject to the insurance
laws of Colorado and the requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Those who live in Colorado Springs and surrounding communities that are interested in coverage can call HealthMarkets at 719-203-6424.