By Allyn Harvey
Valley Health Alliance

Individuals and families who buy their own health insurance have 10 weeks to choose a plan. So, the clock is ticking. 

The official health insurance purchasing period through the Connect for Health Colorado website opened on Nov. 1 and runs until Jan. 15. Insurance purchased by Dec. 15 goes into effect on Jan. 1, while insurance purchased between Dec.16 and Jan. 15 is effective Feb. 1. 

Connect for Health Colorado is the online health insurance marketplace for people who are not covered by an employer’s health insurance plan. The website ( is designed to help people find the right health insurance plan for their budget and needs, as well as determine if they are eligible for a monthly premium reduction under the Affordable Care Act.

Connect for Health Colorado offers well-trained assistants to help people understand the plans and navigate the website. They can be reached by calling 855-873-6166.

Two health insurance companies are offering coverage next year between Aspen and Parachute: Rocky Mountain Health Plans and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield.

“It’s important that people review their options and find a plan that fits their individual and family needs,” said Chris McDowell, executive director at the Valley Health Alliance. “Connect for Health offers a great service in helping people review plans and understand the total cost of care, which includes monthly premiums and other out-of-pocket expenses.”

To learn more about health insurance options and primary care services in the Aspen to Parachute region, check out the Valley Health Alliance website,