Denver, Colorado – October 24, 2023 – The Division of Insurance announced rates for Plan Year 2024 showing that while the Reinsurance Program continues to benefit many Coloradans, the Colorado Option has not fulfilled its promises. For the 2024 plan year, there are fewer choices for Colorado consumers as compared to 2023 while premium rates continue to rise in both the individual and small group markets due to increasing healthcare costs that include insurance coverage mandates.
CAHP Executive Director Saskia Young stated, “The DOI is couching its legal obligation to ensure premium rates are not “excessive, inadequate, or discriminatory” as a newfound win for Colorado consumers, when in fact it is the same premium filing process that occurs every year. It is important to note that prior to the passage of the public option law that grants the DOI authority to call for public hearings, carriers had already negotiated hospital reimbursement rates at or below the floor established by the law. While the result of many compounding factors, the recent insurer insolvencies of Bright Health and Friday Health highlight the importance of the DOI’s work in this space to protect consumers by ensuring adequate rates.”
The insurance industry continues to urge policymakers to consider the impacts of instituting policies that increase costs as the math of being required to pay for more and charge less does not add up. The Colorado Option program requires additional coverage at lower prices, which is not how insurance, nor any other industry works. In addition, during the 2023 legislative session, lawmakers passed five coverage mandate and coverage design bills adding to the eleven coverage mandate bills passed in 2020, 2021, and 2022. Together, these bills continue to drive increased insurance rates for Coloradans as the coverage must be accounted for in premiums.
As is done every year, health plans submitted their proposed rates to the Commissioner of Insurance earlier this spring and the announcement today confirmed the premiums submitted have now been accepted and approved by the Division of Insurance. Consumers shopping on the individual market will be able to enroll in the new plans starting on November 1, 2023. Open enrollment continues through January 15, 2024.