Open Enrollment for Child Health Insurance in Colorado

By Esmeralda Mercado

Child Health InsuranceIt’s time for Kaiser Permanente’s open enrollment for child-only plans in Colorado. Twice a year, Kaiser has an open enrollment period when applications for kids only will be accepted, even if there is no qualifying event.

In Colorado, Children under age 19 may apply for Kaiser individual health insurance in a variety of ways:
• On a family plan with at least one parent or a legal guardian,
• As a dependent on a group plan,
• On a plan by himself or herself, providing the child had a qualifying event within 30 days of the application date. Examples of a qualifying event are: loss of coverage, adoption, newborn, court order, etc.
Every January and July, there is a fourth option. During open enrollment, Kaiser Permanente will accept child-only applications whether or not there has been a qualifying event. Applications received in January will be effective March 1st; those received in July will be effective September 1st. During the open enrollment, rates will continue to be subject to adjustments, if applicable.

Is it best to get child health insurance in Colorado on a family or individual basis?
Premiums will vary depending on the family size and ages. Sometimes, it’s cheaper to enroll together, but in some cases, separate applications are more cost effective. Get customized quotes to know the actual costs for your family. Obtain quotes for a family, as well as alternate quotes on an individual basis.

In addition to the rates, also consider how the deductible will play out. Be aware that there is a cap on your deductible if you apply together. The larger the family, the more important it is to have a family deductible. For example, a family of four on the $3000 Deductible 30%/RX Plan would pay a family deductible of no more than $9,000 if they applied together. If they applied separately, however, the total deductible amount would be $12,000.

Finally, applying together means you complete one application for the whole family. If applying separately works better for your family, you can complete each application online.

Rate Adjustments
The following adjustments are applicable year-round, including at open enrollment:
• A rate-up for pre-existing condition(s) may be applied, based on a child’s health history. The adjustment will be either 50% or 100% of the original or base rate.
• A 50% surcharge will be accessed if all the situations below are true:
o The child-only was previously enrolled during a prior open enrollment period, and
o The plan was cancelled, and
o A child-only application is submitted during another open enrollment.

What if I miss the Kaiser child only open enrollment?
When the open enrollment period is over, then, child-only applications will be accepted only if there is a qualifying event. At that time, applications for Child Health Insurance in Colorado will be accepted via paper applications only. Rates for Kaiser child insurance will be the same as during the open enrollment period.

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