ICYMI: “Colorado’s Public Option Problem”

Jun 29, 2023

DENVER, June 29, 2023 — In case you missed it, today’s ColoradoPolitics.com column, “Colorado’s Public Option Problem,” outlines the Colorado Option’s failure to deliver lower health care costs.

The column cites a recent analysis conducted by NovaRest, an independent actuarial consulting firm with extensive experience supporting state and federal insurance regulators, that explains how the Colorado Option has fallen short on the promise to save Coloradans money on their health care.

From “Colorado’s Public Option Problem” by Kelly Sloan at ColoradoPolitics.com:

“Two years on, we have reached the much-anticipated inaugural year of implementation for the scheme, and the question is materializing here and there as to whether it has been worth the effort. It is a question worth exploring, especially in light of a recently released study by the actuarial consulting firm NovaRest. It informs us that in fact in nearly every county in the state, the Colorado Option plan is not the least expensive. This is so for 60 (out of 64) counties in the bronze-tier, 54 in the silver tier and 32 in the gold tier. Oops.

“Moreover, the authors of the report tell us that the overwhelming majority of the benefit-packed Colorado Option plans — 85% — failed to meet their 5% premium reduction targets, despite the Division’s fiat that they simply do so.

“Now that datum certainly makes things uncomfortable for the scheme’s backers — it is rather difficult to envision the plan’s reaching the even more chimerical 10% and 15% reductions in 2024 and 2025. And indeed, it turns out that for 2024 no carrier in the state (with the sole exception of Denver Health, which is a pretty minor player in that market) will be able to meet that 10% reduction target.”

The NovaRest actuarial analysis demonstrates how the Colorado State Government Option 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.

Read Kelly Sloan’s column at ColoradoPolitics.com here.

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

Read more about Colorado’s Health Care Future here.