CCHI dismayed by reduction in insurance competition and consumer options

MEDIA RELEASE
Oct. 16, 2015
Contact: Adam Fox, [email protected], 303-829-1261/303-563-9108

DENVER – The Colorado Consumer Health Initiative (CCHI) – the state’s watchdog for health care consumers – is disappointed Colorado will lose its  Co-operative health insurer, Colorado HealthOP, following Congress and the federal government failing to provide promised funds to health insurance carriers. The HealthOp is the largest carrier on the state exchange, and the decision to shutter the start-up carrier will impact over 80,000 enrollees. While HealthOP customers will have other insurance carriers to choose from, this decision creates a significant disruption for consumers and will leave consumers scrambling to find new coverage and potentially new providers.

“This decision is really disruptive for Colorado’s health insurance market and consumers,” said Adam Fox, CCHI director of Strategic Engagement. “The HealthOP had the rug pulled out from under them by the federal government, and this decision to shut them down means less competition in Colorado’s market and that Coloradan’s will lose access to this new and innovative kind of health insurance option.”

The Colorado HealthOP was blindsided a week ago by the announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services that payments to insurers from a risk-based payment program to cover high claims costs would come in at a tenth of what was promised and expected despite numerous assurances the money would be paid.

“The HealthOP barely had a week to react to this new situation before the DOI’s decision,” said CCHI’s Adam Fox, “We urge careful oversight of the transition process in the coming weeks to ensure consumers are treated fairly and have a resource dedicated to protecting their interests. It is crucial that affected consumers have access to continuous coverage.” Colorado consumers affected by the HealthOP closure will need to choose a new source of coverage for 2016 during this upcoming open enrollment period that begins November 1st.

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Colorado Consumer Health Initiative represents 50+ Colorado organizations and individual members representing more than 500,000 Colorado consumers, advocating for high-quality, affordable, and equitable health care access for all Coloradans. 

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