With the development of the health insurance exchange, prices for coverage for those in Colorado are going to drop. This will give families an average of $600-$700, back in their pockets. Read the article below to see when and how this new change will take place.
For the first time since Colorado opened its health insurance exchange, the prices people pay for coverage will drop — by a statewide average of 20.2%.
And for families in western Colorado — who face some of the highest health insurance premiums in the nation — the savings could total more than $10,000 per year, according to final numbers for 2020 released by the Colorado Division of Insurance.
“Just imagine: What could you do with that in your life?” Gov. Jared Polis said. “What could your family do with an extra $600 to $700 a month?”
The biggest reason for the price drop — which was higher than projected — is reinsurance, a bipartisan program created by state lawmakers during the 2019 session.
The program is basically a pool of $260 million in state and federal money that Colorado plans to use in 2020 to help cover some of the most expensive medical bills from the 250,000 people who buy plans through the state’s individual market. In exchange for the help, insurance companies lowered their monthly premiums.
“It’s the same plans,” Polis said. “It’s just lower prices.”
That means problems such as people not using their insurance because of a high deductible will still exist, but the governor is hopeful that the lower monthly costs will lower the state’s uninsured rate.
“We think this prices it into the market for many more families,” Polis said, though he didn’t commit to a specific number.
Details on the plan options can be found at connectforhealthco.com, with 2020 enrollment beginning Nov. 1.
The state lawmakers behind the reinsurance bill told The Denver Post they’re not done working on health care costs, either.
“We have to attack the basic underlying costs,” said Sen. Bob Rankin, R-Carbondale. “This bill does not address why health care costs so much.”
His counterpart in the Colorado House, Rep. Julie McCluskie, D-Dillon, is optimistic about programs such as a public option and something called an alliance model that’s just starting in Summit County.
Peak Health Alliance is a group of big employers that banded together to negotiate lower prices from their local providers and used those prices to get better rates from health insurance companies. When combined with the reinsurance reduction, McCluskie said, alliance members will see their premiums cut up to 50% next year.
The governor hopes that by 2021, many more of these alliances will exist, including a statewide group with state, county and city public employees.
“There’s absolutely significant upside to an alliance model everywhere in our state, both the regional models and statewide,” Polis said. “We’re aggressively pursuing those opportunities to save people money.”