The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has set Oct. 26 as the new deadline by which people on unemployment must certify their eligibility if they want to claim Lost Wages Assistance program payments.

State officials estimate that between 70,000 and 80,000 Coloradans eligible for the program known as LWA have not called or logged into the state’s automated system to certify that they were out of work because of the COVID-19 pandemic during the period the program covers.

That certification is required for people who are collecting state benefits to claim the $300 per week in extra support, up to $1,800 total, for the weeks between July 26 and Sept. 5.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded Colorado $553 million to pay eligible people through the LWA program. So far the state has sent out about $350 million in payments, labor department deputy executive director Cher Haavind said, leading officials to extend the certification period by a few weeks.

“We certainly don’t want these funds to go to waste, and we want individuals who could benefit from these additional funds to take advantage of this program,” Haavind said.

The state is planning an outgoing call and email campaign to reach eligible people.

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DENVER (AP) — Filings with the Colorado Division of Insurance indicate the monthly cost of health insurance bought through the state’s exchange is expected to drop an average of 1.4% next year.

Costs depend on where someone lives, though, The Denver Post reported Thursday. Residents in some counties on the Eastern Plains will see 12% increases in their monthly premiums, while Park County residents could pay 12% less, on average.

In Denver, the average premium will drop 1.2%, though surrounding counties will see even bigger decreases.

The Post reports that the average can conceal significant differences among companies, however, and customers should consider the trade-off between higher premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs.


State officials estimate premiums will be about 20.8% lower than they would have been without the reinsurance program, which acts as a backstop for insurers by reimbursing some of the cost of covering customers with higher medical bills.

Adam Fox, deputy director of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, said reinsurance has helped, but it could be hard to find an affordable plan in the 10 counties where only one insurer is selling on the exchange.

Premiums in the small-group market, which isn’t affected by reinsurance, will rise about 3.8%. The small group market is open to businesses with no more than 100 employees.

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The monthly cost of insurance bought through the exchange in Colorado will drop an average of 1.4% next year, according to filings with the Colorado Division of Insurance.

Your costs depend on where you live, though. Some counties on the Eastern Plains will see 12% increases in their monthly premiums, while Park County residents could pay 12% less, on average.

In Denver, the average premium will drop 1.2%, though surrounding counties will see bigger decreases. The average can conceal significant differences among companies, however, and customers have to consider the trade-off between higher premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs when they need care.

State officials estimated premiums will be about 20.8% lower than they would have been without reinsurance. The reinsurance program acts as a backstop for insurers, so they’re reimbursed some of the cost of covering customers with higher medical bills. It’s not clear what will happen to that program if the Supreme Court overturns the Affordable Care Act, because the law included a provision allowing states to experiment with ways to lower premiums, including reinsurance.

Adam Fox, deputy director of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, said reinsurance has helped, but it may be difficult to find an affordable plan in the 10 counties where only one insurer is selling on the exchange.

“Unfortunately, some carriers are still increasing rates in some areas, and any rate increase during this public health crisis is too much for many Coloradans who are already struggling,” he said in a news release.

Gov. Jared Polis said more needs to be done to lower the cost of health care. It’s not clear what might gain traction when the Legislature returns next year, however, since proposals for sweeping changes were derailed by the pandemic.

“My administration is committed to helping save people money even more on

Supporters and opponents of Colorado’s statewide ballot measures have pumped $41.7 million just this year toward swaying public opinion on issues that could have far-reaching implications if passed in November.

During a presidential election year in which issues such as abortion access hang in the balance, and at a time when many families are struggling to make ends financially, Colorado’s ballot questions are taking on heightened importance. Measures such as a 22-week ban on abortions and having Colorado support the national popular vote for president are receiving attention — and contributions — from across the state and country. With less than a month to go, advocates are making their final pushes to Election Day — including in the money race.

The committee fighting the proposed ban on abortions after 22 weeks has brought in the most contributions of any issue committee at almost $6.5 million in 2019 and 2020, while proponents of Proposition 115 have raised a fraction of that, according to filings with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office by Tuesday’s deadline. Three committees supporting the measure raised about $369,000.

Opposition to the abortion measure is being led by women’s reproductive rights groups and progressive allies such as ProgressNow Colorado, Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights, and Cobalt. Supporters of Proposition 115 include Catholic Charities and citizen advocates.

Although Colorado voters have rejected abortion bans three times before at the ballot box, the vote comes at a critical time with the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy left after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. President Donald Trump has nominated conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace her, leaving advocates worried about the potential of Roe v. Wade getting overturned.

Colorado is one of only seven states that doesn’t have gestational limits on when an abortion can take