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Press Release – DORA – Division of Insurance to Undertake Study on Colorado Healthcare Costs

February 3, 2014

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact:  Vincent Plymell, Communications Manager, Colorado Division of Insurance, 303-894-2261, vincent.plymell@state.co.us

 

Division of Insurance to Undertake Study on Colorado Healthcare Costs

 

Denver – In response to concerns about higher premiums in some areas of the state, the Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI) will launch a study of healthcare costs, which is the key driver of premiums in Colorado.  The study follows a decision by DOI to not make changes to Colorado’s current eleven geographic rating areas for individual and small group health insurance for 2015.  Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), geographic areas are one of four factors that health insurance companies can use to set plan premiums.

 

“We are pleased so many more people are gaining access to health insurance under the ACA,” said Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar.  “However, we heard from many people who were surprised by the differences in premiums in different areas of the state.  A review of healthcare costs and their drivers is an important and logical next step to gaining a greater understanding of this issue.”

 

The primary aim of DOI’s health costs study will be the collection of data, while looking for variation in costs from region to region and why they occur.

 

For this study, the DOI will gather a diverse group of stakeholders including representatives of hospitals, healthcare providers, insurance carriers and the pharmaceutical industry.  Commissioner Salazar is working to pull this group together so that work can begin as soon as possible.

 

Meanwhile, geographic ratings will stay the same in 2015.

 

“We looked at a variety of different options, but any changes for 2015 would have to be based on new data so we could justify them to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,” Commissioner Salazar said.  “Because there is no new data available, we could not recommend changes for next year.”


The Colorado Division of Insurance regulates the insurance industry and assists consumers and other stakeholders with insurance issues. Consumers with questions can contact the Division of Insurance at 303-894-7490 or 1-800-930-3745 (outside the Denver metro area).

DORA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair

and competitive business environment in Colorado.

Consumer protection is our mission.

 

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