by Matt Valeta, Health Policy Fellow

On March 28th, CCHI testified in favor of HB13-1266 “Health Insurance Alignment Federal Law.” HB13-1266 will align Colorado’s law with the consumer protections in Obamacare and establish one set of health insurance rules in Colorado. Putting federal consumer protections into Colorado law will ensure that the Commissioner of Insurance is able to implement and enforce these protections in Colorado. This bill is the culmination of a nearly two-year long collaborative process that involved the Division of Insurance, consumer advocates, health care providers, businesses, policymakers, and insurance carriers in identifying inconsistencies between state and federal health care laws. The Colorado House Health, Insurance & Environment committee passed the bill on a bipartisan vote of 9-2. 

Specific consumer benefits this bill puts into Colorado’s law include:

  • Consumers cannot be denied coverage based on their health status.
  • Established Colorado’s essential health benefit plan. This creates a basic package of health benefits that every Coloradan will get in their insurance plan.
  • Expands consumer’s access to essential community providers.

Additionally, creating one set of health care market rules will make the market easier for consumers, insurance carriers, businesses and other stakeholders to navigate.

• The health care market will have the same structure inside and outside of Colorado’s exchange, Connect for Health Colorado.
• Creates on set of regulations so that insurers, consumers, and other stakeholders do not have to jump through unnecessary hoops.
• Business owners will know exactly what new regulations their business will have to meet.

Obamacare has already provided benefits to millions of Coloradans by protecting them form unreasonable increases in their premiums and creating new ways to access health insurance. Getting the care you need, when you need it, isn’t too much to ask. Putting Obamacare’s protections into Colorado law is a common-sense step moving toward that goal.


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