Colorado’s Health Care Future Statement Following Senate Passage of House Bill 23-1224

Apr 25, 2023

DENVER — Colorado’s Health Care Future issued the following statement today after the Senate passed 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 has proven 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.

“The vast majority (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. Recent health insurance company filings confirm that even more aggressive rate setting measures are unlikely to be met in future years. Meanwhile, nearly every county in Colorado continues to suffer from provider shortages threatening access to care for Coloradans, and nearly nine in 10 Coloradans who shopped for individual coverage in the laws first year rejected the Colorado Option. 

“Given these unavoidable facts, the Colorado Legislature ought to revisit the failed policies in the Colorado Option law that are causing these problems in the Colorado market. Instead, it continues to rush through HB23-1224 which doubles down on failed Colorado Option policies by giving the Department of Insurance more authority to tip the scales even further in favor of Colorado Option plans on the exchange.

“This is the wrong way to go. It is not too late for the legislature to reverse course and work together to expand access to affordable, high-quality health coverage and care for all Coloradans.”

A new analysis conducted 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. 

Since the bill was amended by the Senate, it now goes back to the House for consideration.

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

Read more about Colorado’s Health Care Future here.