April 1, 2022

BILL TO PROTECT CONSUMERS AND SAVE COLORADANS MONEY ON HEALTH CARE PASSES COMMITTEE

DENVER, CO – The House Health & Insurance Committee today passed legislation to ramp up consumer protections for Coloradans that participate in health care cost sharing arrangements (HCSAs). HB22-1269, sponsored by Representative Susan Lontine, would require HCSAs to submit operating information to the Division of Insurance (DOI) to improve transparency.

“This bill aims to improve consumer protections and save Coloradans money on health care,” said Susan Lontine D-Denver. “Right now, very little is known about how HSCAs operate in Colorado and that’s a huge problem for participating consumers all across the state. With routine data collection, we can improve transparency and ensure Coloradans are getting the health care coverage they enrolled in and paid for. HCSA’s are not insurance companies and Coloradans deserve to be protected from contract breaches, fraud and poor health care coverage.”

HB22-1269, passed the committee by a vote of 7 to 4 and would require HCSAs to submit some basic, routine information to the DOI about how they operate. The DOI would then make these comprehensive reports publicly available to improve transparency between health insurance organizations and Colorado consumers. This bill would also provide an avenue for consumers to submit complaints about HCSAs to the DOI.

There is limited information on HSCAs including how many of them conduct business in Colorado, the number of consumers enrolled and how many of those consumers receive payouts for their health care costs. Making HSCAs operations information public will discourage misconduct, several notable and egregious instances of which have been documented across the country.

The need for this bill stems from consumers signing up for HSCAs as a less expensive alternative to health insurance. However, consumers are often unaware of the full extent of their benefits and have been denied reimbursement or payments for their health care costs in arbitrary or capricious ways.