Bipartisan OK for Relief From Health Insurance Costs

(April 30) – Rep. Chris Kennedy’s bill to reduce health insurance costs for hundreds of thousands of Coloradans in the individual insurance market won final House passage today with bipartisan support.

Health insurance costs have been increasing significantly for the last few years. These increases are driven in part by the underlying cost of care, but they’re exacerbated by an insurance market that assigns the highest risks and highest costs to the individual market, especially on the Western Slope, causing consumers to opt out of health insurance.

HB18-1392, establishing a reinsurance market for health insurance companies, passed the House today on a 40-23 vote.

“If the market collapses, uncompensated care will surge and the costs will be borne by all of us,” said Rep. Kennedy, D-Lakewood. “By establishing a reinsurance program in Colorado, we can share the risks more broadly and stabilize the markets.”

With an assessment on health insurance companies of 2 percent of the health insurance premiums they collect, a 25-year-old with a catastrophic plan in Denver would save more than $400 per year, while a 60-year-old couple with gold plans on the Western Slope would save more than $10,000 per year.

“Coloradans on the individual market are truly struggling to afford health care,” Rep. Kennedy said. “We must act now by establishing a reinsurance program, and then we must resume the work of addressing the underlying cost of care to make sure we can achieve true, long-term cost reductions for Colorado families.”

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