Colorado’s Health Care Future Statement Following Senate Health and Human Services Committee Advancing House Bill 23-1224

Apr 13, 2023

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

“Coloradans were promised that the ‘Colorado Option’ would reduce costs and increase choice. New research makes clear that the Colorado Option is failing to deliver greater affordability for Coloradans and is contributing to health insurance companies being forced out of our state, meaning there are fewer health coverage options available.

“85% of Colorado Option plans offered in the individual market were unable to meet the 5% premium reduction target in the law’s first year. Considering this result, it is highly unlikely that more aggressive premium reduction targets will be met in future years. Recent health insurance company filings confirm this outlook.

“Furthermore, nearly nine in 10 Coloradans who shopped for individual coverage rejected the Colorado Option, and nearly every county in Colorado continues to suffer from provider shortages threatening access to care for Coloradans.

“Despite all this, the Colorado Legislature continues to rush through HB23-1224 which doubles down on these very same flawed policies by giving the Department of Insurance even greater authority to give preferential treatment to Colorado Option plans.

“Instead of doubling down, the Senate needs to slow down. We urge Colorado lawmakers to work together to expand access to affordable, high-quality health coverage and care for all Coloradans by building on what’s working instead of continuing down this risky path.”

A new analysis released this week 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.

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

Read more about Colorado’s Health Care Future here.