Best Colorado Health Insurance

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Contributor, Benzinga
March 23, 2022

The rising cost of health insurance in Colorado is major cause for concern. Health insurance premiums rose 50% between 2008 and 2017, according to the Colorado Division of Insurance. The Colorado State Senate passed 6 new bills aimed at reducing costs but residents still report that it’s hard to find affordable health insurance.

Quick Look: The Best Colorado Health Insurance

Best Colorado Health Insurance Providers

Which company or nonprofit offers the best health insurance in Colorado? We’ve listed our top picks.

1. Health First Colorado

Health First Colorado is a health care network funded in part by Medicare and Medicaid.

This plan offers Coloradans a primary doctor, in-network care and copays around $2 per visit.

This plan also includes dental, behavioral health, maternity-related visits, prescription drug coverage and laboratory tests.   

2. Rocky Mountain Health Plans

Rocky Mountain Health Plans is a nonprofit HMO-based health care system.

Rocky Health also offers group plans for small businesses. Under these plans, small businesses are able to offer quality health care plans that they might not otherwise be able to afford.

Rocky Mountain also offers an HSA plan, where you can place pretax income and place it into a specialized health savings account.      

3. Denver Health Medical Plan

Denver Health is popular among self-employed, independent contractors, seasonal workers and college students.

This is because Denver Health offers specialized programs for people who don’t expect to use their healthcare but just need to have some coverage available just in case.

All plans also offer a 50%–70% discount on prescription drugs when they’re paid out of pocket.

4. Bright Health Plan

Bright Health is one of Colorado’s most flexible health insurance systems — you can find 6 different plans, depending on your unique needs.

Deductibles can range from as low as $2,000 for individuals to as high as $14,000 for families.

In addition to health coverage, these plans also include services such as 24-hour nurse hotlines, after-hour appointment scheduling and same-day appointments. You’re also not required to receive any referrals in order to see a specialist.

  • Best For:
    Affordable plans, some with no deductible

    Bright HealthCare provides small business, individual, family and Medicare Advantage health insurance plans. These plans are only available in limited markets in the United States, and the company further limits its reach by only covering services performed by participating providers.

    There are several advantages to the plans from this company. Its variety of plan options can provide a great value at a low cost for many people. Telehealth services are also covered by these plans. Even with its advantages, though, there is 1 downside — a high number of customer complaints.

    Overall, Bright HealthCare is a solid option to explore for those looking for affordable health plans, especially healthy people who don’t anticipate needing much healthcare.

5. Kaiser Permanente 

Kaiser Permanente plans specialize in doctors for adult medicine, pediatrics and family care. 

You can have separate doctors for each individual member of your family. Kaiser plans are also extremely flexible because they allow you to change your primary doctor at any time. 

Kaiser Permanente helps coordinate everything via the Kaiser app and allows you to schedule visits, change doctors, order prescriptions, seek referrals — all from the convenience of a cellphone.  

Average Cost of Health Insurance in Colorado

Coloradans spend an average of $480 per month, or $5,640 per year, on health insurance, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

One of the biggest discounts available to Coloradans is the new reinsurance program. Under this new program, the Colorado state government would fully insure specific individuals and in exchange, insurance companies will drop insurance rates for the rest of the population.

The average Coloradoan will see his or her monthly insurance premiums drop by over 20% starting in 2020.  

Types of Colorado Health Insurance

It’s important to know how health insurance is organized and what it will and won’t cover before you search how to get health insurance. Here are the different types of plans you can access: preferred provider (PPO), health maintenance organization (HMO) and point of service plans (POS). Each plan type offers different benefits. 

Preferred Provider (PPO) Plans 

You’ll be given a list of health care providers that you can visit. These types of plans are very popular because they do not require you to have a primary physician. 

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

You’re only allowed to see doctors and providers who are part of an HMO. These plans also require you do find an approved primary doctor. 

Point of Service (POS) Plans

POS plans are similar to PPOs but you’re required to pick a primary care doctor. These plans tend to more complicated because all of your health care referrals must go through your primary doctor and add in more steps between you and treatment.

What Does Colorado Health Insurance Cover?

Health care companies classify a medical expense as either elective or nonelective procedures. A nonelective procedure is a medical need that is required to maintain your health, while an elective procedure is often not.

Nonelective procedures include emergency room visits, routine checkups, vaccinations, commonly-used prescription drugs, surgeries, mental health care and pregnancy costs.

What Does Health Insurance Not Cover? 

Elective healthcare procedures are procedures that are not required to maintain your overall health and often aren’t covered by health insurance. Elective procedures include orthodontics, weight loss reduction surgeries, cosmetic procedures and medical trials. Certain prescription drugs are also sometimes not covered

Be sure to pay attention to when open enrollment kicks off and get yourself enrolled – open enrollment for most health insurance companies starts November 1 and lasts until January 15 each year. 

Frequently Asked Questions


Does health insurance cover dental?


Health insurance offers small allowances for dental, but it does not offer broad coverage. You need a dedicated dental insurance policy.


Does health insurance have a yearly deductible?


A health insurance policy has a deductible that resets every year and must be satisfied before full coverage begins.