Colorado health insurance rates climbing higher next year

Coloradans who buy their health insurance on the state exchange — not through an employer — will see rates rise 10.4 percent next year. Rates for small employers with up to 100 employees will rise by 7.4 percent.

The Colorado Division of Insurance announced the final rates for 2023 on Tuesday. Open Enrollment will be held from November 1 to January 15, 2023.

Govt. Consumers now have the opportunity for the first time to purchase a plan through the Colorado Option, a quasi-public health insurance program that has been a priority of Jared Polis’ administration.

The program “allows participants to better understand what they are paying for and prioritizes mental and physical well-being intended to better support total wellness,” said Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera, who directs the People’s Savings Office on Health Care.

The administration is working with state lawmakers to create what it calls “innovation programs” that could save individual health insurance plans $326 million nationwide next year. That includes the state underwriting program, which helps insurers, the Colorado Option and the insurance division’s rate review process. It said the programs would drive “significant savings”.

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A consumer health group said rural consumers generally face higher increases. The increase comes on the heels of news that Bright Health is exiting the marketplace, which means roughly 55,000 Coloradans will need to change their insurance plan.

“After years of relatively stable health insurance prices, Colorado consumers will feel these increases, especially in rural areas,” said Mannath Singh, executive director of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative. , but instead lay the groundwork for failing to hit targets without reasonable justification.”

More than 300 plans in the state

According to the state’s insurance division, there are 337 individual plans across the state. It includes plans offered in Bronze, Silver and Gold metal levels through the Colorado Option. Plans are roughly evenly split between those available through Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s health insurance exchange, and those sold directly through insurance companies. To make insurance more affordable, subsidies are available only when enrolling through the exchange.

Six companies will offer individual 2023 plans: Anthem (as HMO Colorado), Cigna, Denver Health, Friday Health, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado and Rocky Mountain HMO.

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All but one state in rural Colorado (which borders Jackson, Wyoming) has multiple companies offering exchange plans, the division said.

Eleven companies will sell nearly 500 small group health plans, including 48 Colorado option plans. That category is for employers with up to 100 workers.

Push Back on Colorado Alternative Plans

A group representing insurers says the new landscape means fewer carriers offering plans, less competition and higher premiums.

The Colorado Health Plan Association said in a statement that nearly all of the lowest-cost products on the individual market are not Colorado Alternative plans, and that “nonstandardized products built by health insurance providers continue to offer Colorado consumers choice and affordability. Unprecedented.” A period of inflation.

Decisions made by the Polis administration regarding the program were “fundamentally at odds with the stated goal of saving people money on health care,” said Amanda Massey, the group’s executive director. “We fully support market-based policies that truly reduce costs, but the outcome of Colorado’s first-in-the-nation policy shows that the administration has chosen politics over math.”

Another group opposed to the police administration’s plan characterized the new program as a “struggle”.

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“It’s clear they’re trying to put a positive spin on the failure of this new government-run health insurance system,” Colorado’s Health Care Future said in a statement.

Aids and Subsidies

Consumers can find savings by shopping around, the state said, and financial aid through the federal Inflation Reduction Act has noted that more than four in five people who shop for coverage through the state exchange will be eligible for subsidies in 2023.

“I encourage everyone to visit Connect for Health Colorado to determine what financial help is available to them and shop for plans that fit their needs,” said Colorado Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway.

This week, Juana notified local regulators and insurance brokers that it is exiting the employer group medical business in Colorado. In a statement, the company said it will include about 15,000 people employed through the Colorado Employer Group Market.

Colorado Politics first reported the change.

Humana did not give a reason. The move does not affect Medicare, dental, vision or life insurance plans, it said. All affected plans will expire by mid-2024.

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