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February 20, 2024

Bills to Improve Consumer Protections Pass House

Legislation protects consumers from health insurer insolvency and adds biometric data protections to the Colorado Privacy Act

DENVER, CO –  The House today passed two pieces of legislation to improve consumer protections in Colorado. HB24-1258 passed by a vote of 43 to 17 and would 

ensure that Coloradans who reached their health care deductible and out-of-pocket maximums are credited by their new insurer if their old insurer goes out of business. HB24-1130 passed unanimously and would amend the Colorado Privacy Act to include protections for biometric data. 

“While it’s rare for health insurers to go bankrupt, we need to ensure Coloradans don’t lose the money they already spent reaching their deductible,” said Rep. Kyle Brown, D-Louisville, HB24-1258. “This legislation protects Coloradans if their insurer files for bankruptcy by allowing them to credit any out-of-pocket payments and deductibles toward their new insurer. Our bill saves Coloradans money by not requiring them to pay their health care deductible twice and honors the health care payments they’ve already made.”

“When Friday Health unexpectedly closed over the summer, it left thousands of Coloradans uninsured, frustrated and worried about the money they’d already spent reaching their health care deductible and out-of-pocket costs,” said Rep. Andrew Boesenecker, D-Fort Collins, sponsor of HB24-1258. “This important legislation removes unnecessary barriers to receiving health care coverage and makes sure insurance companies honor previously paid out-of-pocket maximums and deductibles. We’re stepping up to protect Coloradans from insurer insolvency, save them money and make accessing everything from routine to life-saving health care easier.” 

HB24-1258 comes as a direct response to the recent Friday Health insurer shutdown and aims to protect and save Coloradans money by not requiring them to pay their health insurance deductibles twice. Specifically, Coloradans would be able to credit all out-of-pocket expenses and deductibles paid to a previous, out of business insurer to their new health insurer with a new benefit plan. 

“From fingerprint scanners to the facial recognition that unlocks our smartphones, our biometric data is intertwined with current and emerging technology,” said Rep. Lindsey Daugherty, D-Arvada, sponsor of HB24-1130. “Biometric data is incredibly personal, and this legislation would amend the Colorado Privacy Act to ensure our biometric data is protected and stored safely. This bill improves consumer protections of some of our most personal, individualistic data and reduces the risk of our biometric data being used improperly.” 

HB24-1130, also sponsored by Rep. Mike Lynch, R-Wellington, would amend the Colorado Privacy Act to require protections for biometric data. Biometric data is highly unique to an individual and includes fingerprints, facial recognition used to unlock smartphones, and iris scanning. Specifically, this bill would require biometric data to be destroyed within a year of collection or upon request and stored at a higher level of security. 

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