Coloradans Contemplate Cost-Shifting

Margo Karsten, President and CEO, Northern Colorado Banner Health:

“If this state option is implemented, absolutely we’re going to cost shift, and absolutely it’s going to impact our employment and employees.”

Chris Tholen, Executive Vice President, Colorado Hospital Association:

“With at least $235 million in cuts to health care providers in the first year – and upwards of $1.5 billion over five years – costs will be shifted to the 53 percent of Coloradans with employer-sponsored insurance.”

Rob Hernandez, Former Democratic Colorado State Senator, and Scott McInnis, Former Republican U.S. Representative from Colorado’s 3rd District:

“[Costs] are likely to be shifted to other insurance pools, like employer-sponsored plans, which cover more than half of Coloradans. As a result, many residents could be forced to pay more just to maintain the coverage they have now.”

Editorial Board, Colorado Springs Gazette:

“Although the proposal suggests no tax, insurers will almost certainly recoup losses by increasing premiums on private insurance plans. It means average, hard-working Coloradans get the bill for another health care entitlement from which they derive no benefit.”

Brad Niederman, Legislative Council Member, National Association of Health Underwriters

“It’s concerning to me that [state officials] completely poo-pooed the idea of cost shifting, because we can all agree that it’s a true concept and it’s happening…But [there’s] no real detail on that [in the final proposal].”

Dave Davia, CEO, Colorado Association of Mechanical & Plumbing Contractors:

“My concern is the access is going to be cut because doctors, doctor networks and hospital networks may not want to take this insurance, or they’re going to take the insurance and then push the revenue that they’re kind of walking away from onto plans like ours.”

Amanda Massey, Executive Director, Colorado Association of Health Plans:

“This one-size-fits-all approach would have the effect of increasing costs for employers…The result will be reduced patient access to adequate networks and quality care.”

Andrew Forbes, Joint Budget Committee, Staff Analyst:

“The concern here is that hospitals, if they are required to accept public option rates, will steeply need to recoup those profits by raising their rates on the rest of the private insurance industry, whether that be the larger small group markets or other individual plans on and off the exchange.”