June 23, 2022

JOINT RELEASE: LAWMAKERS CELEBRATE IMPORTANT STEP FORWARD TO FUND COLORADO OPTION

Landmark bill will save Coloradans money, improve access to health care


COLORADO – Colorado Democratic lawmakers today are celebrating news that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved Colorado’s Section 1332 Innovation Waiver Request for the Colorado Option, a landmark bill signed into law last year that will save Coloradans money and improve access to health care across the state.


Sponsored by Reps. Dylan Roberts, D-Avon, and Iman Jodeh, D-Aurora, and Senator Kerry Donovan, D-Vail, the Colorado Option will lower health care costs for individuals, families, and small businesses across the state by creating a new standardized health insurance plan for consumers on the individual and small group markets, and by requiring health insurance carriers to bring premiums down by 15 percent over three years.


“The Colorado Option will be an affordable and quality insurance plan in every county of the state. Coloradans – especially in rural and mountain communities like mine – have faced soaring health care costs for too long and that is why we worked so hard to make this plan a reality,” Roberts said. “This waiver means we can move forward with the Colorado Option and make quality, affordable health insurance plans for individuals and small businesses in every part of the state a reality.”

“I want to thank CMS for their partnership in making the Colorado Option a reality. This groundbreaking idea will cut the cost of health care and increase access for all Coloradans and small businesses – relief we need in Colorado’s high country and across the state,” Donovan said.

“I am proud that the Colorado Option will bring more affordable and quality health care to rural communities, people of color and small businesses across our state,” Jodeh said. “We have been working toward this day for a long time, and CMS’ approval of Colorado’s waiver is an important step toward full implementation of the Colorado Option and achieving meaningful cost savings for Coloradans.”

Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) permits a state to apply for a State Innovation Waiver (also referred to as a Section 1332 waiver) to pursue innovative strategies for providing residents with access to high quality, affordable health insurance while retaining the basic protections of the ACA.

CMS’ waiver approval is a critical step that will allow Colorado to use up to $135 million in federal funding to provide a new, affordable health insurance option that will save consumers money and help more Coloradans access and afford the critical health care they need to thrive.