Low prescription prices and comprehensive personal care are among the benefits offered

Doug Miller, a nurse practitioner working at Rocky Ford Health Center, performs a checkup on Gene Smith on November 16, 2017, in Rocky Ford. The Denver Health Medical Plan will replace Bright HealthCare as the last health insurance provider in southwest Colorado starting in 2024. (The Denver Post via AP, file)

The Local First Foundation announced Monday that the Denver Health Medical Plan will offer individualized health care coverage in southwestern Colorado starting in 2024.

The health insurance company will offer plans under the name Elevate, Affordable Care Act-compliant, and Colorado Option.

The company currently serves areas in and around Denver, but will now customize plans for southwest Colorado and the Western Slope.

Local First has been providing businesses and individuals in southwestern Colorado with a variety of health insurance companies since 2018. Elevate will replace Bright HealthCare, which stopped offering individual health plans at the end of 2022.

By teaming up with the Peak Health Alliance, Local First was able to bring Bright HealthCare options to the region in 2021. The move saved residents of La Plata, Montezuma, Dolores, and San Juan County more than $5 million in premium fees in the two years it introduced Health insurance company was available.

“We’re really drawn to them because they’re a Colorado-based nonprofit and they share our values ​​and our commitment to the community in which they work,” said Doug McCarthy, health care advocate at Local First.

McCarthy also said Local First and Peak Health Alliance are confident Denver Health Medical Plan won’t abandon individual coverage plans anytime soon, unlike Bright HealthCare.

With the Elevate Exchange and Colorado Option plan, members will pay discounted prices for common prescription drugs. Some plans will also be associated with a health savings account.

“We’re excited about that and then really hope that with the partnership with the local community of healthcare providers, it’s going to be a low-cost plan,” McCarthy said.

A local press release first says that more information about the plans will be available later this year. Local First will also work with local health insurance brokers and others to help educate the community about new options as part of their healthcare literacy programs.

The new Elevate Health plans will be available to individuals and families during the annual open enrollment period beginning in November. Employees of companies that offer individual coverage health reimbursement arrangements can also choose plans in 2024.

“Many local businesses will also benefit from the choice that these plans will offer their employees through individual coverage health reimbursement arrangements, which are an attractive option for many small employer groups,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy told Durango Herald In March, it was the organization’s goal to make it more economically feasible for local businesses to offer benefits.

“It’s coverage that is based on ‘completely personalized care,’” Greg McCarthy, CEO of the medical plan at Denver Health Medical Plan, said in a press release. “We do this collaboratively so that our members can become an active part of the health and wellness process.”

Whole person care looks at both body and mind in creating care plans. This patient-centered approach makes use of a wide range of resources to provide physical, behavioral and social support.

“Local First is grateful for the opportunity to continue our partnership with Peak Health Alliance to offer greater choice and enhance our local healthcare marketplace,” said Lauren Berutich, CEO of Local First, in a press release.

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