November 18, 2019

DENVER – November 18, 2019 – Governor Jared Polis and his administration released the final proposal to establish a State Government Option. The proposal shows limited benefits for the uninsured and underinsured and could actually increase out of pocket costs for Coloradans.

In response to the proposal, Executive Director Amanda Massey stated, “Colorado’s health insurers share the goals of the Polis administration to reduce the cost of care and increase the affordability of health insurance across the state. Our industry has a track record of backing reform efforts to decrease health care costs and make health coverage more affordable for more Coloradans, including supporting recent efforts to address freestanding emergency departments, surprise billing, and reinsurance. In fact, some reforms are so recent, they have yet to take effect.

Despite our shared goals, CAHP holds significant concerns that this new State Government Option will result in a one-sized-fits-all approach replacing market choice and competition. The State Government Option will likely result in cost shifts that will increase the costs of health care for the over 50% of Coloradans who receive their insurance through their employer. CAHP respectfully urges the Polis administration and legislators to build upon the recent and important cost-reducing efforts rather than implementing an untested program which could have serious unintended consequences.”

The government’s proposal is the culmination of work that began with the passage of House Bill 1004 during the 2019 legislative session. It required the Division of Insurance and the Health Care Policy and Financing Department to develop a proposal that considered feasibility and cost for implementing a state option for health care coverage. After receiving more than 200 comments on the draft report, the final proposal was published less than three weeks later. The administration must now present this proposal to the legislature before the session begins on January 8, 2020.


The Colorado Association of Health Plans

The Colorado Association of Health Plans is the trade association of the health insurance industry and we advocate for high quality, affordable and evidenced based health care on behalf of more than 3 million Coloradans. Comprised of all the carriers offering health plans in Colorado, we work together with the community to provide solutions for a sustainable health care system, with coverage for all, that meets the needs of consumers, employers and public purchasers.