New studies: Colo. uninsured need more specifics of costs, services

Photo: Doctor examining child mouth (iStock)The major obstacle discouraging uninsured Coloradans from signing up for health insurance is the perceived cost of the coverage, according to a pair of studies released Wednesday.

Over the past year, Colorado has successfully enrolled more than 300,000 people through the state’s exchange and Medicaid.

It’s seen its uninsured rate drop from 17 percent last year to 11 percent today, one of the highest declines in the nation.

The new studies find the uninsured include so-called "young invincibles," those 18 to 34, Latinos and seasonal workers.

The Rand Corporation’s Laurie Martin, author of one study, says many uninsured report having questions about costs “whether it is the perception of costs, whether it really is not affordable or whether people just think it’s not affordable."

Martin says there are a lot of options that are available in terms of cost sharing and cost savings.

James Delorey, the author of another report, says uninsured Coloradans need more specific information about costs to encourange them to sign up for health insurance.

“The key finding from our research is that the messaging needs to very directly say to the uninsured, almost personally, here’s what you would be able to get with what you’d be able to pay," says Delorey.

Open enrollment to sign up for private insurance starts Nov. 15.

The studies were released during the Building Better Health conference, hosted by the Colorado Health Foundation, along with Connect for Health Colorado, the Colorado Division of Insurance and the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.