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Colorado’s Maternity Coverage Mandate Starts in 2011

June 11th, 2010 – Colorado Governor Bill Ritter signed 8 health related bills into law, including a new measure that will require all individual health insurance policies to include coverage for contraception and pregnancy.

The new law takes effect on January 1st, 2011 and shall apply to health insurance policies issued on or after January 1st, 2011.

House Bill 1021, sponsored by Democratic Representatives Jerry Frangas and Beth McCann, requires all insurers to offer contraception and maternity coverage, except for women that wait and buy individual health insurance plans after they are already pregnant.

Colorado women that wait and buy individual health insurance coverage after they are already pregnant will have the pregnancy excluded as a pre-existing condition.  Employer sponsored group health insurance plans can not exclude pregnancy as a pre-existing condition in Colorado.

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • T. Grant October 23, 2010, 8:08 am

    What about Obama’s Health Care Reform Act that states you cannot be denied coverage due to pre-existing coverage???

    T. Grant

    • Mark October 25, 2010, 7:38 am

      Good question! This provision for adults goes into effect on 1/1/2014. In the interim, pregnancy can be considered a pre-existing condition on individual health insurance plans in Colorado.

      Children can no longer be denied for pre-existing conditions, starting on 9/23/10.

  • John May 31, 2011, 9:25 am

    I am a single MALE, and was just told by my insurance carrier that my premium was going up because they are charging me for maternity coverage and that there’s nothing I can do about it. Seeing as how it is biologically impossible for me to get pregnant why on earth should I be charged for a service I will never ever ever ever EVER require?
    It just seems to me that all this is doing is making it easier for Insurance companies to rip us off…

    • Mark May 31, 2011, 10:17 am

      Hi John,
      Yes, there is a new maternity mandate that Colorado’s government voted for and was signed into law by the govenor. Most insurance companies were opposed to it because the cost would have to be shared among all insureds. We would be happy to help you shop for other plans if you go to the Expert Quote page.

      Here is something from the Division of Insurance that directly relates to your question: “Mandates require the costs of certain benefits to be spread across the entire pool of insured individuals. For instance, other mandates in the individual health insurance market require women to pay premiums for polices that cover prostate screenings and adults pay premiums for polices that cover childhood immunizations. These mandates only affect certain individuals, but the costs are spread across everyone with an individual policy.”

      • Anonymous January 20, 2012, 12:18 pm

        You may not be able to get pregnant yourself but you can sure be part of the process. Why should women have to carry the financial burden as well as the physical? Sounds selfish to me!

        • Mark Erickson January 20, 2012, 12:47 pm

          That was very well put and thank you for sharing. I think that was part of the idea behind the law, so the costs of bringing children into the world would be shared. Not everyone agrees with this type of cost sharing, but not everyone agrees on just about any public policy.

      • disease vs. behavior February 10, 2012, 2:29 pm

        Pregnancy is not a disease, it’s an outcome of choice of having sexual activity.
        Let men pay for their prostrate screenings. Let families pay for their kids immunizations. But don’t force others to pay for what you choose to do with your private areas.

  • Cassie September 28, 2011, 1:04 pm

    This is outrageous…I am in my 50’s and being mandated to pay for maternity benefits! Repeal asap please!

  • Steve November 28, 2011, 4:27 pm

    “…The new law takes effect on January 1st, 2011 and shall apply to health insurance policies issued on or after January 1st, 2011…”

    I’ve been with RMHP for 2 years, since 2009, and my rates just skyrocketed 40% because of all this. But the quote above indicates the bill should not apply to my plan. I don’t get it. Can anyone clarify this? thanks.

    • Mark Erickson November 28, 2011, 4:35 pm

      Hi Steve,
      The law was subject to a new interpretation by the Colorado Division of Insurance, which we reported on here.
      Regardless, a 40% increase is HUGE. I suggest letting us shop for some new plans for you to see if we can reduce your costs. We’ll do all the leg work for you with our free Expert Quote.

  • sb February 10, 2012, 6:26 am

    does this mandate include sterilization and the “morning after” abortion pill?

    • Mark Erickson February 10, 2012, 10:51 am

      Good question. To the best of my knowledge the maternity mandate does not cover those.

  • Angela July 7, 2012, 8:00 am

    You state above that employer sponsored group health ins plans cannot exclude pregnancy as a Pre existing condition in Colorado. Then why did my husbands ins, kaiser, through his work, deny me? They said its cause I’m pregnant with a more than 90 day lapse in ins.

    • Mark Erickson July 7, 2012, 2:54 pm

      This forum is not meant to give or warranty any legal advice. That being said, if they are excluding coverage for your pregnancy you should first appeal the denied claim with Kaiser. If that does not succeed, then you may wish to contact the Colorado Division of Insurance to seek their help in getting pregnancy related claims covered. The DOI’s website is at: http://www.dora.state.co.us/insurance/consumer/ConsumerMainPage.htm

  • Priscilla January 17, 2013, 12:26 pm

    I recently found out I was pregnant, and my insurance ended on December 31, 2012 because I make too much money. Not one indivdual insurance company will take me, and so what am I supposed to do in this case? Quit my job and get Medicaid? How am I supposed to live. My employer doesn’t offer a group plan, and they don’t offer money until after three months of employment. Please help!

    • Mark Erickson January 17, 2013, 2:43 pm

      First off, congratulations on your pregnancy!! Children are such a blessing!!
      In your situation, so long as you’ve been a Colorado resident for 6 months and have been declined health insurance, you can get coverage from CoverColorado. CoverColorado is a safety net health insurance provider for situations like yours.
      You will need a copy of a rejection letter from one of the companies you applied with. Their cut off for applications is the 15th of the month, so the next available effective date is going to be March 1st.
      Read more and apply at https://www.covercolorado.org/. Have a great day Priscilla!!

      • Priscilla Simpson-Wilson January 28, 2013, 12:45 pm

        Thank you Mark! After doing research, I actually found that my insurance company was not supposed to drop me. There was a problem with my maiden name, and now that it has been taken care of I do in fact have insurance! I did look into covercolorado as well, but I was lucky enough to find out I still have insurance until the baby gets here! Thank you very much for your help!

        • Mark Erickson January 28, 2013, 1:18 pm

          You’re very welcome and we’re always glad to help however we can. I’m happy to hear that things worked out. If we can help out with researching different policy options for after your baby’s birth just let us know. Thanks again and have a great day Priscilla!!

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