Public Option Recommendation to Make Health Care More AffordableDecember 9, 2019
Final report delivered to the Legislature by Division of Insurance and Department of Health Care Policy & Financing
The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI) and the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) delivered their final report for the development of a Public Option for affordable health insurance to the Colorado Legislature. This report is the result of House Bill 19-1004 (HB19-1004), passed in the last legislative session, which directed the two agencies to create a plan for such an option. On average, the actuarial analysis accompanying the report estimates that premiums will be reduced 10 percent; in many parts of the state, Coloradans are estimated to save more than 15 percent.
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“As a four-time cancer survivor who knows what it’s like to worry about how you are going to pay medical bills and keep a roof over your kids’ heads, I’m encouraged to see our agencies putting together a plan to really help people,” said Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera.
The Public Option recommendation is based on extensive stakeholder engagement over the past six months. HCPF, DOI, and the Lieutenant Governor hosted 20 public listening sessions in Alamosa, Aurora, Boulder, Burlington, Denver, Durango, Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction, Greeley, Hugo, Keystone, and Pueblo. They received more than 260 written comments, conducted three focus groups, released a draft for comment, and publicly posted all materials. Our recommendation responds to the innovative ideas and thoughtful input raised during this process.
“The stakeholder process was instrumental in crafting the draft solution. I am very proud of the collaboration and thoughtful contributions made by hospitals, doctors, employers and Coloradans across the state,” said HCPF Executive Director Kim Bimestefer. “This diversity of input has helped us address affordability while creating pathways to increase access to quality care in rural communities.”
The proposal outlines a public-private partnership designed to make health care more affordable by bringing down the costs of care, reducing insurance premiums, and giving more options to Colorado consumers while helping rural and critical access hospitals succeed – all with minimal impact to the State budget.
“Everything about our recommendation is focused on making health care more accessible and affordable for Coloradans,” said Colorado Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway. “To do that we must build a system that tackles the costs of care and brings more logic into the process. The Public Option is designed to help everyone in the individual market and eventually…