Public option will ensure every Coloradan has at least two insurance carriers to choose from and lower premiums an additional 9-18%.
DENVER – Today the Colorado Division of Insurance and Department of Health Care Policy and Finance released the final proposal and recommendations for Colorado’s public option plan. As outlined in legislation passed last spring, the goals of the public option are to bring a more affordable insurance coverage option to the market and to create more competition in the insurance market, especially in those areas of the state where only one or two insurers are offering plans in the individual market.
“This final proposal for the public option plan creates an innovative opportunity for Colorado to bring more affordable health coverage to our state and start addressing underlying health care costs,” said Adam Fox, Director of Strategic Engagement for the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative. ”The public-private partnership structure proposed will make use existing infrastructure and add new insurance options that have additional affordability, transparency and accountability standards. The resulting coverage that will start in 2022 would help many Coloradans struggling with health insurance costs find more affordable coverage options in their area.
“We are pleased to see measures in the plan that will help the public option control underlying health care costs through a transparent provider reimbursement formula that accounts for the needs of vulnerable rural and critical access hospitals. This adds accountability to the system to help control increasing premiums and hopefully begin reversing the rising costs of health care in our state. The plan would lead to an estimated 9-18% savings in premium costs and offer more robust health care services before consumers have to meet their deductible. This will help consumers have more certainty and proactively maintain their health without facing high out-of-pocket costs.
“Hospitals, insurers, and the pharmaceutical industry will be held to higher accountability and cost standards under this plan. This is a starting point to control the profit-taking and excess revenues the health care industry currently squeezes from consumers.
“This proposal comes on the heels of a new reinsurance program that has already helped reduce the cost of health insurance. The public option is part of a broader health care innovations strategy to continue reducing the cost burden of health care and helping everyone get access to the care they need, when they need it. It’s time for Colorado to forge ahead and ensure the public option becomes a reality to continue our progress toward every Coloradan being covered.”
Legislation is expected in the 2020 session to ensure the necessary pieces are in place to implement the Public Option plan.
Colorado Consumer Health Initiative is a nonpartisan, nonprofit group that represents 40+ Colorado health organizations with more than 500,000 health care consumer-members advocating for high-quality, affordable and equitable health care. In 2018, CCHI received the “Get Wise” Consumer Protection award from the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA).