2012 was an amazing year for Obamacare in Colorado and for the nation. Thanks to Obamacare, consumers across the country saved over $1 billion in premiums and gained access to a lot of new benefits. Here are some of the highlights.

  • Under the 80/20 rule insurance companies are now required to spend at least 80% of premiums on health benefits for consumers. Thanks to this rule, in 2012, insurance companies returned $27.5 million in premiums to consumers in Colorado and $1.1 billion nationwide.
  • Colorado’s Division of Insurance continued to use its rate review authority to save consumers $11 million in 2011 by rejecting excessive premiums. For example Colorado’s Division of Insurance rejected a 24% rate increase on CIGNA’s enrollees.
  • Being a woman got easier. Thanks to Obamacare preventive health services like contraception and screenings for HPV for women no longer require co-pays.
  • Colorado selected an Essential Health Benefits benchmark plan that provides a basic level of coverage for all health plans in the state.
  • Colorado received conditional approval and federal grant funding to implement our health benefit exchange (COHBE).
  • Colorado decided to create the New Medicaid Program and expand Medicaid eligibility up to 133% of the Federal Poverty Level.
  • New incentives for using electronic health records have reduced paperwork and administrative costs, saving you even more in your premiums. 

While these reforms have already saved Coloradans millions in premiums, the next couple years of Obamacare look just as promising. Check out what you will be able to thank Obamacare for very soon.

January 1, 2013

  • Medicaid will cover preventive services such as cancer screenings, immunizations and women’s preventive services at little to no cost.
  • National pilot programs for bundled payments will be implemented to lower costs of providing health care.

October 1, 2013

  • Colorado’s Exchange will open for enrollment!
  • States will receive two additional years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program to provide coverage to children not eligible for Medicaid

January 1, 2014

  • Insurers will not be able to deny you coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
  • Insurers will not be allowed to charge you a higher rate due to your health status.
  • Patients will no longer be subject to annual limits on the amount of coverage they can receive.
  • Tax credits will be available for middle class Americans with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level (FPL) to help purchase insurance in the Exchange.
  • Small employers may be eligible for a tax credit of up to 50% of their contribution if they purchase insurance in the Exchange. Non-profits may be eligible for the same tax credit up to 35%.
  • Americans with incomes up to 133% of FPL– about $14,000 for an individual and $32,000 for a family of four– will be eligible for Medicaid
  • The mandate requiring individuals to have insurance coverage will go into effect.
  • Insurance companies will not be able to drop your coverage because you participate in a clinical trial.

January 1, 2015

  • Medicare Physicians will be paid on the quality or care they provide, not the volume.

You deserve to be able to get the care that you need to stay healthy without unpredictable costs. Obamacare is already helping you get the care that you need when you need it. Stay tuned because 2013 and 2014 are going to be really exciting!

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