DENVER (CBS4) – The debate in Washington over Obamacare has people wondering about the impact on the new health care exchanges as open enrollment for Colorado’s new marketplace is set to begin Tuesday.
A government shutdown would not have an impact on the Affordable Care Act or the opening of the state exchanges — Colorado’s will open Tuesday as planned.
“We can financially weather a government shutdown for an extended period of time. If the shutdown was prolonged — months or more — we would have to begin making budget adjustments, but would still open and be operational,” said Ben Davis with Connect for Health Colorado, the state health insurance marketplace.
Advertisements have been running for Connect for Health Colorado.
“It’s an online shopping site where you shop for health insurance that fits you,” one ad says.
Starting Jan. 1 nearly all Americans will be required to have health insurance. The goal of the marketplace is to bring down costs and make it easier to find health plans.
“You can compare prices and benefits; see an explanation of what a premium is and what a plan will cost you every month before you make a choice,” the Connect for Health Colorado ad says.
It’s also the only place where Coloradans can apply for tax credits to help lower costs.
The following people qualify for government assistance:
– Individuals earning up to $45,500 a year.
– Couples earning up to $62,000.
– Families of four making up to $94,000 a year.
Critics say their biggest concern about the exchange is the possibility that rates could increase and they question the number of individuals and small business owners that will actually benefit from the tax credits.