Colorado Democrats’ big health insurance bill may deliver the nation’s lowest premiums. But much is still unclear. |

Colorado Democrats’ big health insurance bill may deliver the nation’s lowest premiums. But much is still unclear.

Three things we know and three things we don’t know about House Bill 1232 as it heads to the state Senate

John Ingold
The Colorado Sun

In 2014, a thunderbolt struck the normally un-sizzling world of Colorado health policy: A report from the nationally respected Kaiser Family Foundation discovered that Western Slope resort communities had the highest prices for health insurance in the country.

What followed was more than five years of work by lawmakers to lower costs, culminating this year in a proposal that could make coverage prices in some Colorado counties the lowest in the nation, according to a Colorado Sun analysis.

The proposal, House Bill 1232, passed the state House Monday on largely partisan lines and now heads to the Senate, where the vote margins for Democratic proponents are tighter.

The bill started out with the possibility that Colorado would offer a public option — an insurance plan run by the government that competes with private plans. But sponsors dropped that idea during a major rewrite last month in large part to assuage industry opposition.

The proposal now calls for insurance companies to negotiate with hospitals and doctors to reduce premium prices for one specific, heavily-regulated insurance plan by 18% over three years. If they don’t, the state can step in and dictate how much hospitals and doctors can charge.

Read the full article at The Colorado Sun.

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