New laws continue the successful reinsurance program, facilitate health insurance enrollment, continue access to telehealth and protect health care for working older Coloradans
Silverthorne, CO– Today, Governor Jared Polis signed four bills into law that will make health care more easily accessible and help Coloradans save money on critical services during a time when they need it the most.
SB20-215, sponsored by Reps. Kennedy and McCluskie, extends the state’s reinsurance program for an additional five years and creates a sustainable, long-term funding source for the program as its success has drastically lowered premiums for Coloradans who purchase their insurance on the individual market. The reinsurance program resulted in approximately 17 percent premium reductions along the Front Range and up to 30 percent premium reductions in Western Colorado. The bill also addresses premium costs for those who receive tax credits to purchase their insurance as well as Colorado families who cannot access affordable care due to the “family glitch” problem.
“These are tough times for Coloradans, and we need to ensure that everyone in our state has access to affordable health care,” said Rep. Julie McCluskie, D-Dillon. “The reinsurance program has lowered the cost of healthcare for Colorado families, often by thousands of dollars a year, bringing significant relief to our rural areas that have some of the highest costs in the country. I’m grateful Coloradans will continue to see these savings and that we were able to expand access to health care coverage for hard working families who will see lower premiums and costs.”
“Access to affordable health care is vital during the COVID-19 pandemic and driving down insurance rates means more Coloradans have a little extra money to spend on essential goods,” said Rep. Chris Kennedy, D-Lakewood. “This law extends the successful reinsurance program, which is saving Coloradans money on their insurance premiums and increasing access to life-saving care. During these times, none of us can afford to be uninsured, nor should we have to make that choice.”
The Governor also signed a number of other bills intended to facilitate enrollment for health coverage and expand access to care. Sponsored by Representatives Susan Lontine and Perry Will, HB20-1236 facilitates ‘Easy Enrollment’ in health insurance for Coloradans who are uninsured. If they choose to opt-in to the program, the bill gives household members who filed taxes information about ways in which they could receive subsidized healthcare coverage.
During the COVID crisis, telehealth has been a lifeline to many Coloradans who cannot see their doctor in person. SB20-212, sponsored by Representatives Lontine and Matt Soper, continues critical access to telehealth services.
The governor also signed SB20-033, sponsored by Representative Lontine, which expands the state’s Medicaid buy-in program for working, disabled seniors who are 65 or older.
“All Coloradans should have access to the affordable healthcare that they need, especially during this unprecedented public health emergency,” said Rep. Susan Lontine, D-Denver. “These new bipartisan laws will help Coloradans enroll in affordable health coverage and also continue to access essential telehealth services, which lower costs and allow people to get the care they need while staying safe.”