Eric Galatas, Public News Service
Every year, Colorado’s Division of Insurance reviews proposed increases in health insurance rates, and consumer comments are factored into its final decisions. The process has saved Coloradans $240 million since 2009, and more than $46 million in 2014 alone.
Matthew Valeta, health policy analyst with the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, says it’s important to confirm that insurance companies aren’t passing unnecessary costs onto consumers.
“We’re trying to make sure the consumer perspective is taken into account,” he says. “If rates are going up significantly for certain consumers, this is going to have a really tough impact on a lot of Colorado families. We want to make sure that voice is heard in the process.”
Since the initial Obamacare surge in 2014, which enabled people with pre-existing conditions to receive coverage, more healthy people are expected to sign up. Valeta says the penalty for not having insurance is going up next year, which should bring more young people into the pool.
“Two-point-five percent of your income is really a significant amount,” he says. “So people who might otherwise have stayed uninsured will start to say, ‘You know, this is a lot to pay to not be insured at all, so maybe I need to look into how much it will cost to get insurance.'”
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