Colorado’s Health Care Future Statement Following House Passage of House Bill 23-1224

Apr 26, 2023

DENVER — Colorado’s Health Care Future issued the following statement today after the House passed House Bill (HB) 23-1224, which doubles down on the failing Colorado Option:

“The facts are straightforward. Coloradans were promised that the Colorado Option law would lower costs and increase choice. New research shows that the law is failing to deliver greater affordability and is contributing to health insurers being forced out of our state, threatening access to care for patients.

“Recent health insurer filings confirm that the aggressive rate setting measures in the law are unlikely to be met in coming years, while nearly every county in Colorado continues to suffer from provider shortages, and nearly nine in 10 Coloradans who shopped for individual coverage in the laws first year rejected the Colorado Option.

“Given these straightforward facts, the legislature could have taken advantage of this legislative session and fixed these problems with the failing Colorado Option law. Instead, lawmakers chose to double down on the law by passing HB23-1224 which gives the Department of Insurance even greater authority to undermine private coverage options and tip the scales further in favor of Colorado Option plans. This is a missed opportunity.”

“We hope that after another year of rising prices, declining choices, stagnant enrollment, and market upheaval, the legislature will decide to work together in 2024 to expand access to affordable, high-quality health coverage and care for all Coloradans instead of tripling down on bad policy.”

A new analysis conducted by NovaRest, an independent actuarial consulting firm with extensive experience supporting state and federal insurance regulators, highlighted how the Colorado Option has fallen short on the promise to save Coloradans money on their health care. The actuarial analysis demonstrates how this state government-controlled health insurance system is increasing costs, reducing competition in the state’s health insurance market, and driving health care provider shortages that threaten access to care for patients.

The bill now heads to Governor Polis’ desk to be signed into law.

Read NovaRest’s actuarial analysis on the Colorado Public Option here.

Read more about Colorado’s Health Care Future here.