HB 16-1336 (Hamner & Rankin/Donovan) Study for the Creation of a Single Geographic Rating Area for Health Insurers to Use When Establishing Rates for Individual Health Insurance Plans

Originally Posted: March 11, 2016
Last Updated: April 22, 2016

Summary

Under current law, health insurers may consider the geographic location of the policyholder when they establish health insurance rates for individual and group insurance plans. This bill would direct the Commissioner of Insurance to study the impacts and viability of creating a single geographic rating area, consisting of the entire state, for purposes of determining premium rates for individual health benefit plans.

Position

The Children’s Campaign supports this first step in analyzing one potential solution to the high cost of health insurance in certain areas of our state that can make it difficult for families to obtain health insurance coverage and access to health care. In 2014, the mountain resort communities, including the counties of Eagle, Garfield, Pitkin and Summit, had the highest health insurance premiums in the country, which may have contributed to the high uninsured rates for kids in those counties. In Summit and Eagle counties, for example, 17 percent of children under 19 were uninsured as of 2014, which was the highest uninsured rate for children in the state. In 2015, Colorado redrew the state health insurance coverage regions, decreasing the total number of regions and including the resort communities in a larger geographic rating area, leading to a decrease in the cost of health insurance in these those communities. However, this redrawing of insurance boundaries may have contributed to an increase in health insurance premiums in the counties newly tied together with the resort communities, including Lake, Grand, and Moffat counties. While the resort communities tend to have median incomes higher than the state average, though of varying degrees, many of the counties newly grouped into this insurance area have median incomes lower than the state average. We do not yet have the 2015 health insurance data which would allow us to examine the impact of this change on health insurance coverage rates, but we support the state’s effort to study the impacts of this potential solution to the wide variation in health insurance premiums and coverage rates in the state.

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Current Status

Passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support and now awaits the Governor’s signature.

Previous Statuses


April 15, 2016

Passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee as amended on a bipartisan 4-1 vote and now heads to the Senate floor for debate (Erin Miller, our Vice President of Health Initiatives, testified in support of this bill in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee this week).

April 8, 2016

Scheduled to be heard in the Senate Health & Human Services Committee on Thursday, April 14 at 1:30p.m. in SCR 352.

April 1, 2016

Passed the House with bipartisan support on a vote of 54-11, and now heads to the Senate.

March 25, 2016

House Health, Insurance, & Environment Committee with a bipartisan 12 – 1 vote and now heads to the House floor for debate (Erin Miller, our Vice President of Health Initiatives, testified in support of the bill in the House Health, Insurance, & Environment Committee this week.).

March 18, 2016

Scheduled to be heard in the House Health, Insurance, & Environment Committee on Thursday, March 24 at 1:30 p.m. in Room 0107.

March 11, 2016

HB 16-1336 was introduced in the House and assigned to the House Health, Insurance, & Environment Committee, and is scheduled to be heard on Thursday, March 24 at 1:30 p.m. in Room 0107.