DATE: June 12, 2023
CONTACT: Adam Fox, 303-563-9108, email@example.com
Jenny Davies, 720-296-9545, firstname.lastname@example.org
Colorado DOI vacates Cigna’s Colorado Option hearing
Process is working to lower costs, but premium savings must be verified
DENVER – Today the Division of Insurance announced that tomorrow’s June 13th Colorado Option public hearing for Cigna is vacated (canceled) because Division staff confirmed the insurer reached agreements with hospitals to reduce reimbursements under the law, and will be verifying corresponding reductions in their premiums. Originally scheduled for June 6th, the goal of the hearing was to require insurers to present publicly why they are failing to meet the targets, hospitals (if identified in a complaint) to respond, and importantly, to hear public comment and analyze proposed premium rates vis-a-vis the statutory 10 percent premium reduction target (adjusted for inflation).
“This is good news for Colorado families who are desperate for more affordable health insurance – Cigna made more of an effort by participating fully in the hearing process, leading to negotiated agreements that reduce costs for Coloradans,” said Adam Fox, deputy director of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative. “While we’re still waiting on verification of these agreements and the corresponding premium savings, the process shows that reducing premiums and hitting the targets is achievable, not just for Cigna, but more broadly in the Colorado market.”
Passed by law in 2021, Colorado Option plans are standardized with the same benefits and cost-sharing in each metal level of coverage regardless of the insurance company, making it easier to make choices based on quality, providers that participate in the plan, and price. The law directs the Division of Insurance to hold public hearings concerning network adequacy and premium rates when plans fail to meet the requirements, authorizing them to establish carrier reimbursement rates for hospitals and health-care providers if necessary.
“These hearings are a historic opportunity for public transparency and consumer voice, and Coloradans will still have an opportunity to provide their perspective in a broader public hearing on July 7th,” said Fox. “We’re pleased the process is working as intended to incentivize the hospitals and insurers to negotiate and reduce costs. It’s clear that the market hasn’t been working to lower costs without this additional mechanism, and both hospitals and insurers can cut costs further to make coverage and care more affordable for Coloradans”
Hearings for other insurers are scheduled later in the month – Rocky Mountain Health on June 20th, Kaiser on June 21st and Anthem on June 22nd. Coloradans can sign up by June 16th to provide public comment in one or more of those hearings on the Division of Insurance website.
Colorado Consumer Health Initiative is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, membership-based group advocating for equitable access to high-quality, affordable health care. CCHI serves Coloradans whose access to health care and financial security are compromised by structural barriers, affordability, poor benefits, or unfair business practices of the health care industry.