Legislature Brings Changes

To Our Valued Stakeholders,

This year’s Legislature adjourned Wednesday after passing a couple of measures that will affect our customers and not passing three measures that we have been following aimed at easing the burden of high premiums.

What passed:

SB 136 will allow brokers to charge a fee when advising customers to buy a health plan if the broker does not receive a commission on the plan. They cannot charge a fee for enrolling people in Health First Colorado or CHP+ and they are required to notify customers in advance. The state Division of Insurance is working on related rules.

SB 132 calls for the insurance commissioner to make an actuarial analysis to determine whether expanding eligibility for catastrophic to Coloradans age 30 and above (without a hardship exemption) would reduce Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTC) for Coloradans or increase average individual health insurance premiums.

If the analysis finds such a change would do neither, the insurance commissioner would be required to seek a five-year waiver to allow the sale of catastrophic plans to all Coloradans. Such plans would remain ineligible for APTC support and would be sold through Connect for Health Colorado.

What did not pass:

HB 1205 would have provided financial assistance to Coloradans whose income is between 400% and 500% of federal poverty level and spend more than 20 percent of their household income on health insurance premiums.

HB 1392 would have created a reinsurance program to help health insurance companies with their highest cost members, allowing them to better contain increases in premium.

HB 1384 would have called for the state department of Health Care Policy and Financing and the state Division of Insurance to study three different healthcare coverage options, a Health First Colorado buy-in, a public-private partnership and a community- or regionally-based healthcare alternative.

In the News

Forbes reported more evidence of state Marketplace stabilization this week, as health insurance companies see improving profits in the individual market. Interestingly, the health insurance companies featured in the article are showing little interest in offering short-term plans.

Take care,

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