The state of Colorado has a new insurance policy that offers discounts on MediCares rideshare rideshare premiums.
Colorado’s Affordable Care Act-backed state-run MediCal program launched a new program that allows people to choose between two options: buy a discounted premium for a MediCare car or get a lower-cost ride.
The state said it will roll out the new insurance option to MediCar members beginning Jan. 15, which means the program’s new premium options will go live starting Jan. 20.
Colorado has offered a variety of discounts to Medis since it launched its own program in 2012.
Those discounts were based on the cost of a ride for a single trip.
The state offers a 30% discount on Medis with up to $50,000 in CO-OP tax credits and an additional 15% discount if the rider has a disability.
The new program is a boon to people who are struggling to pay for MediIns.
For those with incomes under $75,000, the savings are only about $300.
The same level of assistance for people with incomes above $100,000 could bring the savings to $500,000.
“I think that this is really important to keep people in the loop, to get as much information as we can,” said Mark Clements, executive director of the Colorado Independent Health Center, which has been helping Colorado residents navigate the new program.
Colorado’s MediDrivers program, launched in 2011, has provided discounts to people making $200,000 or more.
But with MediCOID, the state is offering a 15% reduction on Medicare premiums, or up to about $100 a month.
Those who don’t qualify for Medicaid will still have to pay out of pocket.
“People who qualify are going to have the option to take advantage of the reduced rates,” said Clements.
Colorado has been testing the new MediCAR program for a couple of years, but this is the first time the state has actually rolled it out nationwide.
The company says the discounts are only available to people with a valid Colorado Driver’s License, and those with no other qualifying documents are exempt.
For people who aren’t eligible for Medis, the discount may not be enough to cover a trip.
“We are hoping this will be a good starting point to help folks understand how they can use the new discount,” said David Ziegler, chief operating officer of MediCAN.
The premium reductions are intended to help people understand how much it might cost to buy a Medicoins card, or what it might mean to use a carpool.
“A lot of times people don’t realize that a ride can be a cheaper alternative than driving yourself, and the cost savings are real,” Ziegling said.
“It’s really just a matter of understanding that the cost for a ride is not necessarily the same as the cost to drive.”
The new premium program is aimed at helping Colorado people who want to buy Medicares for a new car, and get to work on their commute.
“If you’re looking for a little bit of extra cash, it might be worth it to use MediPass, if you have the money,” said Zieglers.
“People may find that it is a little cheaper for them to get a car, but the benefits are not the same for them.”
The discount program is only available in Colorado, where the state currently offers MediCoins.
The program will be rolled out nationwide starting next week.
“The program will have a wide range of prices and options, so if you are a Colorado resident who is looking for the lowest cost options, this is a great place to start,” said Kelli O’Malley, the Colorado Insurance Department’s chief information officer.