ICYMI: “That Government Promise To Lower Insurance Rates? It Didn’t Happen For Me”

Nov 30, 2022

DENVER – In case you missed it, Krista Kafer, a columnist with the Denver Post, detailed her struggle to find health insurance after her carrier was forced to leave the market as a consequence of the implementation of Colorado’s new state government-controlled health insurance system, known as the Colorado Option, in her column last week. 

To make matters worse, no matter what new plan she ultimately chooses, her costs will go up – even though politicians promised that Colorado Option would lower costs. Kafer writes: 

“In one month I will lose my health insurance plan because the carrier is leaving the state and I will pay more in monthly premiums no matter what plan I pick. On average, insurance costs will increase 10.4% next year. Every year since 2019, Colorado lawmakers have passed new coverage mandates that have increased the cost of premiums in the individual market by 5.5 to 7.9% a year … 

“Lawmakers were so certain of success that the Polis campaign touted the legislation as one of the more than 100 ways the administration was saving Coloradans money. Turns out that’s not the case. The least expensive plans at the state health care exchange are not Colorado Option plans but rather carrier-designed plans.

“That’s because Colorado Option plans require more ‘free’ benefits such as non-preventative primary care and mental health and substance abuse visits than traditional plans while at the same time requiring insurers to lower premiums. These are mutually exclusive goals since more benefits require higher premiums to cover additional costs … 

“Foisting new mandates and price controls on insurance companies has not led to the cost savings promised by politicians. It has, however, made it more difficult for insurance companies to remain viable in this state … 

“As a writer and adjunct professor whose income varies month to month, I need a low premium high deductible plan without extra benefits I don’t need and can’t afford. Will the legislature admit its missteps this coming session and give us self-employed Coloradans a break?”

The Colorado Option is already falling short of its promise of affordable health care coverage. Policymakers should prioritize building on and improving what is already working to ensure every Coloradan has access to affordable, high-quality health care rather than moving forward with this unaffordable, state government-controlled health insurance system.  

  • Read the full column HERE.
  • Read more on Colorado’s Health Care Future HERE.