SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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Colorado HealthOP Encourages Colorado's Moms to Get Covered

New Healthcare Law Makes Health Insurance More Affordable and Accessible for Mothers and Moms-to-Be

DENVER, CO -- (Marketwired) -- 02/20/14 -- Colorado HealthOP, Colorado's first statewide nonprofit health insurance cooperative, reports that 1 in 5 women enrolling in its plans are moms -- women with at least one dependent. Because the new healthcare law affords women with children more comprehensive healthcare options that are tailored to their needs, Colorado HealthOP is committed to helping more moms get covered.

"You've likely seen the many insurance campaigns featuring moms prompting their adult children to get health insurance, which is important," said Julia Hutchins, chief executive officer of Colorado HealthOP. "Equally as important is moms -- and dads -- seeking coverage for themselves. Many benefits of the new healthcare law make it easier and less expensive for moms to get the care they need."

In 2011, 15 percent of Colorado parents were uninsured, according to data from Kids Count. Uninsured women are more likely to have inadequate access to care, get a lower standard of care when they are in the health system, and have poorer health outcomes, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Colorado HealthOP is dedicated to educating moms about the benefits that the new healthcare law provides, including the following eight facts that Colorado women should know:

1. You may be able to get help paying for your health insurance. Moms who qualify can apply for income-based tax credits to help cover the costs of insurance premiums.

2. You can keep your children on your policy until they turn 26. They can be kept on your plan even if they are married, not living with you or eligible to participate in their own employer's plan.

3. You're entitled to free preventive care, including birth control. Preventive services, including well-woman visits, screenings for disease, contraceptives and family planning counseling are covered at no charge. Most FDA-approved birth control methods are all covered without co-pays.

4. If you have a baby, your maternity care will be covered. Maternity care is considered one of the 10 essential health benefits that must be covered by all health plans beginning in 2014.

5. If you're a breastfeeding mom, you're covered. The new healthcare law requires health plans to cover the costs of breastfeeding equipment and breastfeeding counseling without a co-pay.

6. You can't be charged more because you're a woman. In the past, insurers were allowed to charge women a higher insurance premium than men purchasing the same coverage. The new healthcare law prohibits this "gender rating."

7. You can buy health insurance just for your kids. If you don't want to cover yourself, you can still cover your kids. However, any adults without coverage may be required to pay a tax penalty.

8. Keeping your kids' teeth healthy will be easier. Pediatric dental care is covered as one of the essential health benefits.

"The new healthcare law makes health insurance more affordable and accessible for many Colorado families," said Hutchins. "If Colorado parents think their families can't afford health insurance, I urge them to contact us to learn how they can join a cooperative health plan that is committed to making health insurance more affordable."

Colorado moms can shop for Colorado HealthOP health insurance plans on the state's health insurance marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado. For more information about Colorado HealthOP's plans or to get a quote, please visit COHealthOP.org.

About Colorado HealthOP
Colorado HealthOP offers a new alternative to traditional health insurance in Colorado. A nonprofit health insurance cooperative, Colorado HealthOP and its members are committed to providing affordable, quality coverage to individuals and employers interested in making a difference in their own health, their employees' health and the health of their community. Colorado HealthOP aims to improve health outcomes by putting the responsibility for consumers' care back into the hands of the cooperative's members and providers. A private market solution tailored for individuals and employers, Colorado HealthOP will begin open enrollment in October 2013 via Connect for Health Colorado, Colorado's health insurance marketplace, and through independent brokers and agents. Coverage will begin January 1, 2014. For more information about Colorado HealthOP, please visit www.COHealthOP.org or call 720.627.8900.

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