Colorado, which is preparing for the Oct. 1 launch of its new online insurance marketplace, expects bumps in the road as residents start enrolling in new health coverage options created by the Affordable Care Act.
“We’re going to have 500,000 new customers,” said Marguerite Salazar, the state’s new insurance commissioner, during an Aug. 19 interview – her second day on the job. “Just think of how many possibilities there are for things to go wrong there.”
She has great faith in the staff she’s now leading at Colorado’s Division of Insurance, she said, but is realistic about the big changes that are coming.
“We know it’s not going to be just a completely smooth transition as people who have never had insurance buy it and try to figure out how to use it. … Also, insurance companies, which are not used to dealing with people who are previously uninsured, are going to find themselves having different issues with their customers. The Division of insurance is going to step up to make sure we can help both sides,” Salazar said.
Many of these previously uninsured are going to have inflated expectations about how the coverage works. The plans have deductible and copays. That translates into out of pocket expenses. The concept of both paying monthly premiums and then having to pay at the doctors office will not be well received.
Since the ads say that “real” coverage is available through the Colorado Exchange, whoops there I go again, I mean “Marketplace” the “common folk” are going to expect everything to be covered as a first dollar benefit.