Dec 2, 2022

Setting the Record Straight on the Colorado Option

DENVER – As Colorado politicians continue to rush to implement a new government-controlled health care system, known as the Colorado Option, Colorado’s Health Care Future is setting the record straight on claims by Denver politicians on the Colorado Option’s affordability and access to health care. 

MYTH: The Colorado Option is delivering real savings.

FACT: This new state government-controlled health insurance system is far from delivering the premium discounts that were promised by politicians in Denver. For most Coloradans, the Colorado Option plans are more expensive than other insurance plans available to them. The Colorado Option is generally NOT the lowest cost option.

MYTH: For current individual market enrollees, 87% will have access to either a bronze, silver or gold Colorado Option plan that is at or below the five percent premium reduction target.

FACT: Colorado Option plans will not be the lowest cost plan available to most Coloradans across the state. This is the case in rural, mountain and urban areas. Even in the few areas where the Colorado Option is the lowest cost metal plan, the savings are minimal. For example, consumers in Denver will have a silver public option plan available that is up to 48 cents less than the next lowest cost silver non-public option plan. Furthermore, this insurer may not be able to sustain that pricing as it was forced by state regulators to operate its Colorado Option plans at a 7% loss in 2023.

MYTH: The Colorado Option will increase competition in the health insurance market.

FACT: Four insurance companies have announced a partial or complete exit from Colorado in 2023, resulting in less competition and less choice for Colorado consumers. Additionally, the Peak Health Alliance serving mountain counties including Summit, Grand and La Plata will not be offering coverage in 2023 due to such an exit. It’s clear that impossible Colorado Option requirements are leading to private insurers packing up and leaving the state. 

MYTH: In addition to covering all essential health benefits required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Colorado Option will have free primary care and free mental health visits.

FACT: This benefit design is not unique to the public option and represents an instance of the Colorado Option attempting to align the more innovative plan options that traditional insurance has provided to consumers before the Colorado Option’s inception.

MYTH: The Colorado Option has been designed to reduce racial health disparities and improve health equity.

FACT: There is thus far no evidence to suggest that any of the requirements of the Colorado Option law will deliver more equitable access to health care or work to reduce health disparities any more than the traditional health plans already offered by health insurers across Colorado today.  

Read more on Colorado’s Health Care Future HERE.