Colorado Small Business
Health Insurance Plans 2022

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CO Small Business Health Insurance Plans

Colorado Small Business Health Insurance Plans

Colorado Small Business Health Insurance Plans 2022. The following is an overview of the rules that govern small group health insurance plans in the State of Colorado.

The information that is discussed below includes the laws that have been mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA or "Obamacare"), as well as the laws that are required by Colorado State government.

If you own and operate a CO small business and you already offer small group health insurance or you're thinking about offering small group health insurance - this guide can help you better understand the regulations, requirements and available Colorado small business health insurance plans available.

Learn how to get Colorado small business health insurance plans for 1 to 50 employees. The best small business health insurance providers in CO offer affordable rates, flexible coverage options and access to a large network of medical providers.

Below are some answers to commonly asked CO small business health insurance plan questions:


How Much Does Colorado Small Business Health Insurance Cost?

The average price of a standard Colorado small business health insurance policy ranges from around $583 to over $1706 per employee per month based on; single or family, location, coverages offered, deductibles and more.

What Are The Small Business Health Insurance Regulations In Colorado?

Colorado Small Business Health Insurance Plans

While there is no state law that requires employers to offer group health insurance to their employers in the State of Colorado, the majority of employers do offer their employees this benefit. All health insurance companies are required to follow the guidelines that have been established by the Federal government under the Affordable Care Act, as well as the state of Colorado.

Health insurance companies that are based in Colorado are required to sell small group health insurance policies to all small business owners. Furthermore, there are two small business health plans that have been standardized by the state that Colorado health insurance companies must offer.

Moreover, small businesses that employ more than 2 but have fewer than 50 workers must be offered the same small group health insurance policies that are sold to other small business owners.

If you qualify, your business must meet the minimum participation requirements that have been set forth by your Colorado health insurance company. If you don't meet the minimum level of participation that your health insurance company requires, your policy could be terminated.

In Colorado, health insurance companies can charge higher premiums for Colorado small business health insurance plans due to the age, family size, and geographic location of the group; however, higher premiums cannot be charged as a result of the health status of the group.

Lastly, like individual health insurance plans, illness cannot be used as a ground for terminating small business health insurance policies.

According to Colorado Division of Insurance, in 2014, due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health insurance plans were required to offer more comprehensive coverage in compliance with new federal requirements.

These minimum set of benefits and services, called Essential Health Benefits or EHBs, must be included in health plans. Plans can include more benefits than those listed and costs for the services can vary from plan to plan.

Does Colorado Participate In The Affordable Care Act?

Affordable Care Act Colorado

In 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA or "ObamaCare") was passed by the United States Congress and was signed into law by Obama. Following its passage, provisions of the law have continued to be phased in, and as of January 1, 2014, the majority of American citizens and legal residents of the United States are required, by law, to have qualifying health care coverage.

If they fail to have coverage, they are responsible for paying an annual tax penalty for each month they aren't insured, which is known as the "individual mandate".

The cost of the penalty for failure to have qualifying coverage is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, or 1% of your total taxable income; whichever amount is higher - as much as $285 per family. In 2017, the penalty increased, and has continued to increase thereafter.

Qualifying Exemptions For The Individual Mandate

Individuals who meet one of the following are exempt from the individual mandate and the associated tax penalties in CO:

  • Illegal aliens
  • Jailed individuals
  • Religious objections
  • The cost of health insurance coverage is higher than 8% of your household income
  • Those who aren't covered for less than three months during the calendar year
  • Those who have hardship waivers
  • Your income level is blow the 100% poverty level

What Are The Affordable Care Act Requirements For Colorado Small Businesses?

Colorado Small Business Health Insurance Plans Claim Form

If you're a small business owner in Colorado, you must provide your employees with insurance. This is a requirement that was put into place by the Affordable Care Act.

Referred to as the Employer Shared Responsibility provision, all employers must offer their employees at least one of the ACA-compliant Colorado small business health insurance plans, otherwise then can face fines of up to $2,000 per employee.

Colorado small business owners can purchase coverage for their employees through the state's Small Health Option Program (SHOP) exchange, or from a private insurance agent or broker.

Affordable Care Act Standardized Essential Health Benefits

As per the ACA, all qualifying health insurance plans must offer 10 standardized essential benefits.

Depending on the state, additional benefits may also be required. The 10 ACA standardized essential benefits are as follows:

  1. Ambulatory patient services (medical care that is offered without being admitted to a hospital)
  2. Emergency services
  3. Hospitalizations, such as overnight stays and surgical procedures
  4. Lab services
  5. Mental health and substance abuse disorder services, including behavioral health treatments, such as psychotherapy and counseling
  6. Pediatric health care services, including vision and oral care; however, adult vision and dental coverage aren't essential health benefits under ACA
  7. Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care, including before and after birth
  8. Prescription pharmaceuticals
  9. Preventative and wellness services, as well as management for chronic diseases
  10. Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, including services and devices for injuries, disabilities, and chronic health conditions

Additional Health Benefits Mandated In Colorado

In addition to the 10 essential standardized benefits, Colorado law requires health insurance policies to offer the following benefits. These additional benefits include:

  • Clinical trials for individual and group plans
  • Congenital anomaly, including cleft lip/palate, for individual and group plans
  • Diabetes care management for individual, small, and large group plans
  • Durable medical equipment, including prosthetic devices, for individual and group plans
  • Off-label prescription pharmaceuticals for cancer for individual and group plans
  • Other prescription pharmaceuticals, including oral anti-cancer medications, for individual and large group plans
  • Reconstructive surgery, including mastectomy coverage, for individual, small, and large group plans
  • Rehabilitative occupational, speech, and physical therapy, including congenital defects and birth abnormalities, for individual and group plans

Standardized Colorado Small Business Health Insurance Plans
ACA Metal Levels

In order to make it easier to compare costs and benefits, the Affordable Care Act has designated all qualifying Colorado small business health insurance plans to be one of four metal colors, including Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

Each of these designations is based on the average amount of health care costs that the plan will cover, which is illustrates at percentages of how much the insurance company will cover for health care, as well as the amount the insured will have to pay out-of-pocket.

All insurance companies that are participating in the federal or state health care exchange program must offer at least the Silver and Gold Colorado small business health insurance plans.

All four of the metal plans have a shared maximum out-of-pocked amount that the insured can be charged during any calendar year. The following table illustrates this information:

Metal Plan Insurer Pays / Insured Pays
Bronze60% / 40%
Silver70% / 30%
Gold80% / 20%
Platinum90% / 10%


Guaranteed Issue

As per the ACA, individuals cannot be denied coverage or charged higher premiums because of their past health history, or their gender.

Additionally, look-back and waiting periods cannot be imposed. Additionally, policies are effective when they are issued and all coverage is renewable if the individual chooses to renew the policy.

However, plans can be canceled if the individual fails to pay their premiums or commits fraud.

How Are CO Health Insurance Premiums Determined?

A premium is the amount the insured must pay out-of-pocket in order to maintain their health insurance policy. The premiums that are charged for any of the qualifying metal plans can be based on the following:

  • Age of the individual
  • Whether or not the individual uses tobacco
  • Where the individual lives, based on a rating area
  • The number of family members who will be enrolling

What Types Of Health Insurance Plans Are Available For Colorado Small Businesses?

Health Insurance Plan Types

While there are several types of health insurance plans to choose from, the following plans are the most popular among CO small business owners:

Health Maintenance Organization - Simply known as an "HMO", this type of plan offers a variety of health-related services via a network of health care providers and hospitals that exclusively contract with the HMO, or who agree to offer their services to members of the HMO. Employees who participate in this type of plan usually have to choose a primary care physician (PCP), and receive most of their care from this physician. If a specialist is needed, the PCP will recommend one that is affiliated with the HMO.

Preferred Provider Organization - More commonly referred to simply as "PPO", this type of health insurance plan is the most common among Colorado small business owners. The insurance company provides a preferred list of health care providers, and employees must receive their medical care from the doctors and hospitals on that list for their claims to be paid at the highest level possible - but they also have the flexibility to see any other provider anywhere in or out of state.

Point-of-Service Plan - Known as a (POS), this type of health insurance plan provides access to health care services at a lower overall cost, but with fewer choices. Members can access care from in-network or out-of-network providers and facilities, but coverage is better when you stay in-network. POS plans may vary, but generally, plans are considered a blend of HMO and PPO plans - offering more flexibility than HMOs, but less than PPOs.

Health Savings Account - A health savings account (HSA) is a special type of bank account that allows participants in the insurance plan to save money that can be used specifically for the medical care they require in the future. HSA-qualified health insurance plans are usually PPO plans that are specifically designed to be used with an HSA.

Indemnity Health Insurance - This type of health insurance plan allows members to control their own health care and to visit any doctor or hospital they choose. The insurance company would then pay a pre-determined percentage of the total charges for the services that were rendered. Employees may have to pay for some types of services up-front and then they can submit a request for reimbursement with the insurance company.

Colorado Small Business Health Insurance Plans - The Bottom Line

We strongly advise business owners to speak with a CPA and a CO health insurance broker before jumping in and getting any type of the Colorado small business health insurance plans available.

Make sure that you know exactly what each option can do for your company and the potential drawbacks associated with it.

Colorado Economic Data & Business Insurance Information

Made In Colorado

If you're thinking about doing business in Colorado, it's important to familiarize yourself with the economic status of the state, as well as the regulations and limits regarding insurance for businesses. Below, we offer insight into pertinent economic data related to the state of Colorado, as well as key business insurance information so that you can put your best foot forward and make the best decisions for your business in the Centennial State.

Business Economic Trends In The State Of Colorado

According to recent reports from the leading economic researchers, the state of Colorado has a healthy outlook, economically speaking. While fewer jobs will be added in 2018 than have been in recent years, the growth rate is still expected to climb.

It's anticipated that entrepreneurs who are really interested in taking risks in new ventures will be the leading contributors for the state's economic growth. However, less risky industries will lend to the economy, as well, such as cloud computing and cybersecurity.

In regard to the fuel industry, it is anticipate that there will be an increase in valuation of about 9 percent in the year 2018, and this growth pertains mainly to gas and oil. This increase will largely be due to the improvement in energy prices, which are lower this year than they have been in recent years. It's hopeful that energy prices will continue to fall so that these industries can continue to thrive.

In terms of agriculture, it's projected that farms in the state of Colorado will do a little better this year than they did in 2017. Leading economic research agencies are expecting that the income from agriculture will reach nearly $1.4 billion in 2022.

In regard to the retail market, it is also expected that this industry will see steady growth, despite the rising trend of e-commerce solutions. In fact, it's estimated that the rate of employment in the retail sector will increase by as much as 2.1 percent during the 2022 fiscal year.

Regulations And Limits For CO Commercial Insurance

The Colorado Division of Insurance regulates insurance in Colorado. CO is considered a "fault state", meaning that business owners are not legally required to carry liability insurance; however, liability coverage is the type of commercial insurance that is most commonly purchased in the state. Commercial liability insurance covers business owners and their clients for things like bodily and personal injury, commercial property damage, and injuries that pertain to advertising injuries.

The only commercial insurance that business owners are required to carry is workers' compensation insurance. Any business that employees an hourly or wage staff must carry this type of coverage to protect their employees.

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Also find CO local small businesses by General Liability Class Code and learn about Colorado small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including CO business insurance costs. Call us (720) 500-2051.

Small Business Health Insurance Plans By State

You can find more state specific small business health insurance information including requirments and coverage by clicking on the state below:


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