New Analysis: Enhanced ACA Could Lead To Lower Premiums & Coverage Gains For Coloradans, Protect Choice & Competition

Jun 3, 2021

DENVER – As some Colorado lawmakers continue to push for the creation of an unaffordable, new state government-controlled health insurance system known as the state government option, a new analysis by FTI Consulting reveals that proposed Affordable Care Act (ACA) enhancements could reduce net premiums nationwide by 24 percent on average and lead to substantial coverage gains for Coloradans, while preserving competition in the market and protecting choice for consumers.

In contrast, the analysis finds that creating the national public option – an unaffordable new government-controlled health insurance system – could threaten the nation’s private coverage market, reducing choice for Colorado consumers while creating financial challenges for health care providers in the state, who could suddenly face an influx of patients on government plans with lower reimbursement rates.

Key findings of FTI Consulting’s analysis, which was supported by the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, include:

  • Proposed ACA enhancements could reduce net premiums nationwide by 24 percent on average, saving consumers nationwide approximately $10.6 billion annually
  • Proposed enhancements to the ACA could achieve significant coverage gains nationwide – upwards of five million newly insured individuals on the federal exchange alone – without the creation of the public option or significant disruption to those with private coverage or the health care system writ large.  
  • In contrast, creating the public option could threaten private coverage nationally, driving 60 million people – or 40 percent of the market – out of employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) and potentiallyeliminating the private exchange market entirely.
  • Implementing ACA enhancements and expanding Medicaid in the 12 non-expansion states – which do not include Colorado – could result in comparable coverage gains among vulnerable populationscompared to the public option – and do so without threatening private coverage.
  • Relative to specialized Medicaid managed care plans that prioritize care coordination and address social determinants of health, the public option may not provide the coverage necessary to meet the unique health care needs of at-risk, low-income populations

FTI Consulting’s analysis comes as “17,282 Coloradans have signed up for a health insurance plan since Connect for Health Colorado re-opened enrollment on Feb. 8, with more than 7,500 sign ups in the last month alone. That uptick in enrollments coincides with the date that Connect for Health Colorado began offering increased savings on health insurance to residents of all income ranges following the passage of the American Rescue Plan,” Connect for Health Colorado – Colorado’s state health insurance exchange – announced last month.

recent analysis by the Brookings Institution also highlights the significant resources now available for Coloradans to obtain affordable health coverage under ARPA and concludes that elected leaders in Denver should take “caution against making lasting changes” to the state’s health care policies “until matters are clearer.”

  • To read the full analysis by FTI Consulting, CLICK HERE.
  • To learn more about Colorado’s Health Care Future, CLICK HERE.