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San Juan Basin Health to become part of Connect for Health Assistance Network

By Jane Looney
Special to The SUN

San Juan Basin Health announced Wednesday that it is one of 57 groups across the state selected to provide in-person assistance to individuals wishing to apply for Connect for Health Colorado, the new health insurance marketplace opening for enrollment in October.

Selected through a competitive grant process, San Juan Basin Health will become part of the Connect for Health Assistance Network serving local communities, helping individuals and families consider health plan options, apply for insurance affordability programs, and sign up for health coverage.

“Having access to quality health insurance and new financial assistance to reduce costs is a huge benefit for the people in our community,” said Liane Jollon, acting director of San Juan Basin Health. “This opportunity directly fits with our Health Improvement Plan goals and we are excited to begin helping residents in Archuleta and La Plata counties find the health insurance plan that meets their needs through Connect for Health Colorado starting this fall.”

Patty Fontneau, ED/CEO of Connect for Health Colorado, said the organization is eager to start work with San Juan Basin Health.  “Together we will educate Coloradans about our marketplace, our customer support services and how we can connect Coloradans to quality health insurance options. The Assistance Network will be an important resource for Colorado consumers, especially for those who have never bought health insurance before and will have many questions about their options and new financial assistance programs.”

San Juan Basin Health is providing health coverage guides in Pagosa Springs to offer local, in-person assistance to individuals and families looking to shop for health care coverage through Colorado’s new health insurance marketplace and to apply for a new kind of tax credit to reduce costs and for other insurance affordability programs. They have already begun outreach to the public to let individuals know about the Connect for Health Assistance Network, their options under the Affordable Care Act and that they are available to help in the application process.

Archuleta County residents can contact Renee Burch at 264-2409, Ext. 203, or rburch@sjbhd.org.  Burch is available for outreach to speak to interested groups in the community.

 Background

The Connect for Health Colorado grantee organizations include 19 community/non-profit and faith-based organizations, 18 hospitals and clinics, 13 public health or public services, and two trade organizations.

Starting in October, Connect for Health Colorado will offer individuals, families and small employers a new online marketplace for health insurance and exclusive access to new up-front financial assistance, based on income, to reduce costs. Customers will shop through a website and get expert help in person and over the phone from a network of customer service professionals, including Customer Service Center representatives, health coverage guides and certified health insurance agents and brokers. The marketplace is a public, non-profit entity that was established by a 2011 state law.

More information is available at www.ConnectforHealthCO.com.

This story was posted on July 18, 2013.