What They’re Watching: Monica VanBuskirk

Monica VanBuskirk is the Chief Policy and Relationships Officer at Connect for Health Colorado. She joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to discuss providing coverage for vulnerable populations, consumer behavior in the insurance market, and new features being tested across different state exchanges.


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One of things I’ve been watching lately is the policies that impact vulnerable populations, especially immigrants and their health care coverage. At Connect for Health, we are concerned with ensuring that there’s coverage for everyone who needs, and that population has recently had a lot more barriers. 

Internally, what I have been watching are our enrollment numbers and I’m watching to see if our efforts to target folks who are traditionally uninsured have been successful and if the market is healthy. If there’s enough supply from the carriers and the insurers in the different regions in Colorado to meet the demand. The last piece is something that I watch both internally and externally – how are customers behaving in the insurance market? 

There’s not a ton of publicly available data about shopping behaviors or the value proposition that really resonates with people when they’re shopping for insurance on the individual market. So i’m looking at our internal data and also whether or not there’s anything other states can share that is helpful for us.

I think the work that’s happening with Connecticut Exchange and Massachusetts Exchange is really interesting. They’re testing a lot of features that a lot of other exchanges are watching, ourselves included. However, their population isn’t exactly the same as Colorado and I think the Washington population is a lot more similar to us; they have similar demographics in terms of urban and rural. Also, the fact that they have a number of different payers and providers, they don’t have a health care that is dominated by one payer or provider system.”