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This new car costs less than health insurance for my family - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

This new car costs less than health insurance for my family

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A base model 2017 Ford Fiesta costs $14,535 while a Bronze level health plan for Andy Koen's family runs $15,125 according to Connect for Health Colorado A base model 2017 Ford Fiesta costs $14,535 while a Bronze level health plan for Andy Koen's family runs $15,125 according to Connect for Health Colorado
COLORADO SPRINGS -

If you're one of the roughly 450,000 Coloradoans who buy their health insurance on the Connect for Health Colorado exchange, get ready to pay more. Premium increases approved this week by the Colorado Division of Insurance will go up by an average of 27 percent next year.

To get a better sense of just how much of increase this will be, I ran the numbers on myself using the Quick Cost and Plan Finder Feature of the Connect for Health Colorado website. Annual premiums for my family of five in El Paso County ran anywhere from $11,690 to $15,125.  That's just for the high-deductible Bronze level plans. Gold level premiums run as high as $24,000 a year.

That's higher than the Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price of a new base model 2017 Ford Fiesta: $14,535.

I asked Vince Plymell, spokesman for the Colorado Division of Insurance, why health insurance costs in Colorado keep going up. 

He said some of the increase is due to rising healthcare costs which continue to outpace both inflation and wages. 

Another big factor is that customers who shop the exchange tend to use their insurance more often.

"The individual markets have always been a little more volatile than the employer based market. Sicker people, people who move around from plan to plan each year creates that volatility," Plymell said.

He went to say that another big reason is all the uncertainty in Washington over the future of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) an its many components such as the individual mandate. 

Subsidies are available on the exchange which would drop my premiums by about $4,000 a year. But it just so happens that Ford is offering a $3,000 rebate on new Fiesta's this month. Call it a wash.

In full disclosure, my family and I are covered by an employer based plan. While the premiums and coverage limits are similar to those offered on the exchange, we only pay about one-third of that amount thanks to the employer benefit.

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