Connect for Health Colorado site makes upgrades to ease customer wait time for tax credit approval

Customers may find health care sign-up quicker now

DENVER, Colo. - New features added to the Connect for Health Colorado health care exchange website are designed to make enrollment for a related tax credit simpler.

Connect for Health Colorado is the health care exchange required under the federal Affordable Care Act, often known as Obamacare. It is built on different technology and different operations than the federal site, meaning Coloradans don't have to go to the federal website in order to purchase insurance.

According to Connect for Health Colorado there have been 3,408 enrollments, 52,542 accounts created and another 6,000 people who have called in with questions since its launch date on October 1.

One of the biggest complaints documented by the CALL7 Investigators is of the long delays for people who chose to apply for the tax credit. They are forced to apply for Medicaid, wait for a denial and then continue the sign-up process-- the providers telling CALL7 Investigator Theresa Marchetta that this is something they have been equally frustrated with.

An update launched Wednesday streamlines the website more than ever before for people who want to apply for the tax credit. Customers must still receive a Medicaid denial before being approved for a tax credit, but an upgrade in the system allows customers to apply for the tax credit without having to leave the website.

Lindy Hinman, COO of Connect for Health Colorado, says that you should still plan to spend up to 2 hours to complete the application process if you have your income tax information on-hand.

CALL7 checked with health care providers like Colorado Health-Op, who said they expected to see who signed up for their plans by Monday, but we learned those enrollment files became available for the first time Wednesday.

Hinman assured that Connect for Health Colorado is "getting the carriers what they need so that they can make sure people are enrolled and are getting their services by January 1."

But CALL7 uncovered the roll-out of enrollment information to the 17 providers in Colorado will be a continuous process throughout the month of November. Providers are required to turn that data into tangible insurance coverage by January 1.

A big marketing push is underway to target younger Coloradan's who qualify to sign-up. CALL7 requested the demographics of those who have signed-up and for what plans, but the information is not available yet.