May 6th, 2021 – After some major changes, House Bill 1232, the Colorado Option Health Benefit Plan Act, is moving ahead with revised version of the bill. The changed bill gives hospitals, doctors and health insurance companies two years to reduce insurance premiums by 10% a year (20% total) in both the individual and small group health insurance markets.
If the reduction goals are not met, then a new government run “Colorado Option” health plan would be introduced that would cap fees paid to both doctors and hospitals, who would be required to accept it or risk losing their license to practice medicine. Hospitals would have to accept payments that would be 155% of Medicare reimbursement rates.
Hearings are still being held on the bill, which seems to ignore the stresses caused on the healthcare industry by the pandemic. An amendment reduces premium reduction requirements to 18% over three years. Rural Colorado hospitals fear they could be driven out of business.