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Colorado Democrats introduce bills to bring down health insurance costs, highlight hospital prices

March 3, 2023, 8:33 am

Colorado General Assembly Democrats on Thursday issued the following press release on legislation aimed at bringing down the cost of premiums for Colorado Option health insurance plans and increasing transparency on hospital costs:

The House today introduced legislation that will reduce premiums for Colorado Option plans and increase transparency into hospital finances to shed light on the underlying drivers of health care costs.

“The Colorado Option is offering additional choices for consumers at lower costs. The legislation we introduced today will continue to drive down premiums for Coloradans and save people money on health care,” said Rep. Iman Jodeh, D-Aurora. “Low-income communities and people of color often disproportionately encounter barriers to quality health care. With these updates to the Colorado Option, we will ensure Coloradans  and employers can easily shop for the quality plans that best fits their needs.”

State Rep. Dylan Roberts, D-Eagle
Dylan Roberts

“Every Coloradan, whether they‘re from Steamboat, Meeker, Gypsum, or Granby, deserves to have access to the lifesaving health care they need, but in the communities I represent on the Western Slope, quality and affordable health care can too often be too hard or even impossible to come by,” said Sen. Dylan Roberts, D-Avon. “The Colorado Option is off to a great start, and this bill builds on that success by making it easier for Coloradans to shop for plans and compare prices in an easy-to-understand way that works for them. I’m proud to champion this legislation and I look forward to continuing our work to improve the program and ensuring that every family is able to take advantage of this incredible opportunity.” 

HB23-1224, sponsored by Representatives Iman Jodeh and Kyle Brown and Senator Dylan Roberts, will lower insurance premiums and make it easier for consumers to shop for high value plans that work for them and their families. 
“Over 35,000 Coloradans have enrolled in Colorado Option plans in the first year, a big success for any new insurance product in the first year,” said Rep. Kyle Brown, D-Louisville. “This bill strengthens the Colorado Option by holding insurance companies accountable. It helps lower premiums by limiting profiteering and excessive administrative expenses.” 

The updates to the Colorado Option strengthen the Division of Insurance’s (DOI) ability to hold carriers accountable for the premium rate reduction requirements on Colorado Option Standardized Plans by allowing the DOI to: 
·        limit factors such as as excessive profit and administrative expenses; 
·        structure the public hearings process efficiently while ensuring all parties the opportunity to participate; 
·        help consumers easily find and compare plans that could lower their out-of-pocket costs. 

“The legislation I carried in 2019 gave policy makers a closer look at hospital finances, informing some of the major policies we’ve passed to help bring down the high cost of health care,” said Rep. Chris deGruy Kennedy, D-Lakewood. “This year’s bill will help fill in some of the remaining gaps so we can continue building policies that put people over profits.” 

“Hospital transparency is important to ensure the public and policy makers have accurate data to understand the challenges of and within our healthcare system,” said Rep. Matthew Soper, R-Delta. 

HB23-1226, sponsored by Representatives Chris deGruy Kennedy and Matt Soper and Senators Dylan Roberts and Perry Will, sheds light on the underlying drivers of high hospital costs by building on existing hospital financial transparency reporting to address gaps, increase compliance, and provide data to understand the financial health and performance of Colorado’s hospitals. 

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