Colorado bill to develop state insurance option advances

Late Monday night, House Bill 1004 passed through Colorado’s House of Representatives. The votes were 45-19 in favor of re-passage. The bill is now headed to Governor Jared Polis’s office for consideration.


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HB19-1004 directs state agencies to recommend a plan to compete with private insurance plans and those that are offered on Colorado’s health care exchange. The bill directs the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing and the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies to deliver a plan this November.

The bill is sponsored by Reps. Dylan Roberts, Marc Catlin as well as Sen. Kerry Donovan. Each has taken an interest in reducing healthcare costs to rural Coloradans this legislative session.

“The reason why we are here presenting the bill is because too many Coloradans, especially in our part of the state, in rural Colorado, as well as in all parts of the state are paying too much for their healthcare costs. There are currently 14 counties in Colorado where there is only one option on the individual market when you are looking to purchase health insurance. And, too many other counties where the choices are too limited, and too expensive,” said Representative Roberts during a committee hearing earlier this session.

Together, each department would be tasked with assessing the costs, funding sources, federal permissions and funding, and who in government would run this public option program. If approved, the plan could be up and running by 2021.