April 13, 2018
Adela Flores-Brennan, 303-839-1261/303-618-3604, [email protected]
Katie Reinisch, 303-653-1009, [email protected]
DENVER – The state’s leading advocate for healthcare consumers, the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative (CCHI), praised the introduction in the State Senate today of HB 1384. The “State Health Insurance Options” bill would require the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing and the Division of Insurance to study three different health insurance plan options in order to spur competition and create more affordable, quality health coverage options.
The legislation aims to capitalize on Colorado’s experience with health care innovation by focusing on state and regionally-based approaches, including an option to allow Coloradans to purchase a plan through Medicaid. Among other issues, the study would examine:
Who could be eligible for each program;
Premium and out-of-pocket expenses for consumers;
Health care provider reimbursement rates;
The viability of piloting such a program in rural (and other?) areas where there are only a few — or one — high-cost insurance providers.
In response, Adela Flores-Brennan, Executive Director of CCHI, made the following statement:
“Colorado has an opportunity with the “State Health Insurance Options” to explore new, affordable, and high-quality health coverage options on the individual insurance market despite ongoing federal uncertainty.
“Colorado should chart its own path to ensure market stability and to increase access to affordable and high-quality health coverage options all across the state, from Durango to Denver to Deer Trail.
“We know too many Coloradans are harmed by high premiums and cost sharing, lack of competition, and health insurance instability. For example, rural Colorado was hit by average rate increases of 30 percent or more this year and 14 counties have only one health insurer to choose from. We need to create new options for Coloradans.
“With a strong history of innovation in health care, Colorado is well positioned to explore using programs like Medicaid or a public-private partnership to create more affordable and more competitive health insurance options in the individual market.”
Colorado Consumer Health Initiative represents 45+ Colorado health organizations with more than 500,000 health care consumer members advocating for high-quality, affordable, and equitable health care for all Coloradans.