CEO Blog: Coverage Gains; Another Repeal Bill

To Our Valued Stakeholders,

Our state got some good news this week with the release of the 2017 Colorado Health Access Survey. The topline finding that the gains we have made in expanding coverage since 2013 are holding, even improving modestly, was encouraging. More than 5 million Coloradans can now be counted among those with the health and financial security that comes with coverage, nearly 94 percent of the state’s population.

Personal bankruptcies tied to healthcare debt in Colorado have plummeted 60 percent since 2013, down to 40,000 a year, and 87 percent of the state’s residents rate their health as good or excellent. Among Connect for Health Colorado customers the number is even better — 94 percent.

We know that there is more work to be done. Coverage gains are less robust in the rural reaches of the state and the cost of care and coverage remains uncontained. These and other findings in the biennial report  support the direction our board took in adopting our strategic plan in July.

In Other News

State-based marketplaces, including Connect for Health Colorado, provided input to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee as it worked to find bipartisan solutions to support the individual health insurance market. Unfortunately, that effort has been overshadowed by another effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the HELP committee work is not expected to result in a bill.

The repeal bill, which the Senate is expected to take up early next week, has been criticized by governors from both political parties, including our own. Gov. Hickenlooper estimated in a Colorado Public Radio interview that the state would lose $1.5 billion a year if the Graham-Cassidy bill were to become law.

The Commonwealth Fund provided a succinct analysis of the measure and Kaiser Health News assembled a collection of news reports that you may find helpful.

I was in Washington this week and I had the opportunity to meet with members of the Colorado delegation or their staffers. I remain convinced that healthcare solutions lie in bipartisan agreement.

Take care,


Kevin Patterson, MURP, MPA
Chief Executive Officer
Connect for Health Colorado