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Colorado woman left searching for new health insurance days before hip surgery

After announcing the state would run Friday Health until the end of the year, the state gave people until Aug. 31st to find new insurance.

DENVER — "Dear valued member," a letter from June began.  

The letter came from Friday Health Plans, informing members the company would stop operating in Colorado, with a caveat.

"Friday Health Plans of Colorado is working with the Colorado Division of Insurance to ensure your coverage can continue for the remainder of the 2023 plan year," the letter read.

"Okay, well I still have insurance.  I still have coverage. Okay," thought Friday Health member and Denver resident Johanna Voss.

A few weeks later, members got another letter from the state.

"All Friday Health Plans policies, including your health insurance policy, will be ending effective August 31, 2023," that letter stated.

That letter came six days before Johanna Voss was scheduled to undergo hip surgery.  

"What happened? Because you told me coverage was through the end of the year and not to worry about it," said Voss.

Voss said she needed to fight to keep her surgery, reached her $9,000 deductible, and incurred additional out-of-pocket expenses. 

“I feel like I’ve hit rock bottom on this so many times, like you think it’s bad, and then I’d run into someone else who denied me," Voss said.

 Just before the deadline, Voss found a new insurance plan. It costs $200 more per month than what she was paying, and the company is not recognizing her expenses this year.

"It's like $12,000. I'm starting at zero," Voss said

Zero is also the rating she gives Colorado's handling of the situation.

“I want them to hear this story and to know that there’s real people behind these decisions," she said.

A spokesperson for the Colorado Division of Insurance said at least 78% of Friday Health members re-enrolled through Colorado's marketplace. The state has not yet said how many people that is.

"We were optimistic they could continue through the end of the year, but we received new information that showed additional financial instability of Friday Health Plans of Colorado and growing concerns about health care providers refusing to treat Friday enrollees," a Colorado Division of Insurance spokesperson said.

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