Arthur Kane, Denver Post

“The first data about Colorado health care costs under the Affordable Care Act were released Monday, but it is impossible to tell whether health reform is increasing or lowering costs as the two top providers took different paths on premiums.

Kaiser is predicting an average increase of 7 percent in 2015 premiums while HMO Colorado Inc., better known as Anthem, is predicting its average premium will drop 5 percent, the filings show.

ACA supporters had promised the reform would eventually reduce rates, while ACA opponents said it will increase costs.

Adam Fox, director of strategic engagement for the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, said the rates are based on who the insurance companies’ enrollees are and what the company believes it will cost to care for them. “It’s encouraging at least some rates are going down,” he said. “It means insurers are seeing competition and responding to some of that pressure.””

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