DENVER, CO--(May 22, 2013) - The Colorado Association of Health Plans is pleased to announce that every member of our health insurance plan association, a group that already insures just over 3 million Coloradans, will be offering a product on the Connect for Health Colorado exchange beginning October 1.
Today’s announcement that the Colorado Division of Insurance is in the process of reviewing hundreds of proposed new health insurance plans designed to offer coverage to consumers and small businesses is an important milestone in our shared efforts with the health care community in Colorado.
“The May rate filing is the next step in the long process that CAHP and our industry has supported, one that will lead to lower numbers of uninsured in Colorado,” said CAHP Executive Director Ben Price, “ The number of insurers that have filed plans to be sold on the new exchange shows our industry’s commitment to quality, affordable healthcare for all."
The ccoverage offered in these new plans is quite different, particularly for individual plans, than insurance plans consumers have seen before. The new plans will be sold on a guaranteed basis regardless the health of the purchaser, with, no maximum lifetime benefit, and will have many coverages that just weren’t included in plans sold on the market before.
“The comparison with past coverage becomes less apples-to-apples and more apples-to-mangoes, these are new plans, with all new benefit packages, and the premiums are new as well,” said Price.
Many Coloradans who had no insurance before and who couldn’t buy in this market, will be able to get insurance through the exchange.
ACA implemented hefty new taxes and fees that we think are misguided, including the new “Health Insurance Tax,” that becomes a part of the cost of insurance for the consumer. The cost of that tax is a part of what makes up insurance premiums. This tax is not needed to make the Affordable Care Act work, and CAHP will continue to call for its repeal. Taxing consumers more for having health insurance coverage flies in the face of the goals of the Affordable Care Act.
It’s important to understand that in Colorado, health insurance is regulated by the Division of Insurance, which will now take a look at these rate filings to make sure they meet all the newly established requirements. Ultimately, the Division of Insurance will determine which plans will be approved for sale.
“Insurance premiums are a reflection of the cost of providing medical care. Anyone who has seen a hospital bill knows that health care in the US isn’t cheap,” said Price, “ We’re getting close to the full implementation of ACA, which was about reform and modernization. But, reform and modernization hasn’t addressed cost, and that’s what has to happen now. We have to tackle that conversation sooner rather than later.”
The Colorado Association of Health Plans is the trade association for health insurance carriers in Colorado. We promote high-quality, affordable, evidence based health care in Colorado through advocacy, education, prevention, and health policy research, and to advance a vibrant, private-public system with consumer choice, product flexibility and innovation. We support initiatives empowering consumers with information they need to make health care decisions, promoting health care quality in partnership with health care providers and expanding affordable health care coverage to all Coloradans.