Colorado’s Ambitious Public Option Could Impact Employer-Backed Insurance Market

  • Jul 01, 2022

    Colorado received permission from the Biden administration on June 23 to go ahead with the final element of its so-called “public option,” the Colorado Option. Experts tell AIS Health, a division of MMIT, that the program’s design is likely to deliver more premium savings than Washington state’s public option — and that the savings could make their way to the commercial market, especially if Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements (ICHRAs) make further inroads in the Centennial State. 

    Experts tell AIS Health that the Colorado Option is innovative and could produce substantial premium savings, in large part because it has aggressive premium reduction goals. Starting in 2023, premiums for Colorado Option plans must be 5% lower than 2021 premiums, ultimately resulting in 15% cuts in premiums in 2025. After that, starting in "2026 and each year thereafter" premiums may increase "above the premium in the previous year by no more than medical inflation, relative to the previous year," per a summary of the law from the state legislature. 

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  • Peter Johnson

    Peter has been a reporter for nearly a decade. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered a wide variety of topics in his hometown of Seattle, where he continues to live. Peter’s work has appeared in publications including The Atlantic and The Stranger. Peter attended Colby College.

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