Behavioral Health, Small Business Insurance Bills Pass House

DENVER, CO– The House today passed two bills on third reading and final passage which would create the Colorado Behavioral Health Administration and allow small businesses that go over the 100 employee cap for small group market plans to remain on their insurance plans. 

“The Colorado Behavioral Health Administration will bring major reforms to improve access to mental health care and ensure that more Coloradans can get the care they need,” said Rep. Young D-Greeley. “Even before the pandemic, we were looking at innovative ways to connect Coloradans with behavioral health services. Creating this new Behavioral Health Administration will help our state build back stronger by bolstering mental health care in Colorado.”

HB21-1097, sponsored by Representatives Mary Young and Rod Pelton, passed by a vote of 52-8 and would create the Behavioral Health Administration to ensure that every Coloradan experiencing behavioral health needs has access to timely, high-quality services in their communities that they can afford. It tasks the Department of Human Services with creating a plan for a single state entity that would be responsible for administering and overseeing behavioral health programs in Colorado.

“Small businesses shouldn’t be punished by having to find a new health plan just because they hire a few more employees,” said Rep. Hooton, D-Boulder. “By fixing this problem, small businesses can create jobs and keep their health insurance plans. This easy and simple bipartisan solution will support small businesses and increase access to affordable health care.” 

Under SB21-090, which passed by a vote of 60-0 and is sponsored by Representative Edie Hooton, small businesses participating in small group insurance plans may renew these plans even if they exceed the 100 employee cap on small business plans. This would allow a growing small business to hire new employees without risking the health insurance of all their employees. 

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