HB21-1232 (Roberts & Jodeh/Donovan) Standardized Health Benefit Plan Colorado Option

Originally Posted: March 26, 2021
Last Updated: April 2, 2021


This bill would require the Commissioner of Insurance to develop a standardized health insurance plan for individual and small group markets that: offers coverage at bronze, silver and gold levels; is offered through Colorado’s health insurance exchange; offers a standardized set of benefits developed through a stakeholder process; and provides first-dollar, predictable coverage for certain high value services. The standardized health plan will be designed to improve racial health equity and decrease racial health disparities through a variety of means, including through improved perinatal health coverage. Health insurance carriers would be encouraged to offer this plan in the individual and small group markets beginning in 2023, lower the premium costs for this plan by 20 percent over two years, and limit the increase in premiums thereafter. In the event that health insurance carriers do not meet premium cost goals, the state will offer the standardized plan through a newly-established Colorado Option Authority beginning in 2025. The state would apply for a federal waiver to allow for the formation of the Authority. Additional funds raised through the authority would be directed to the Health Insurance Affordability Enterprise to provide increased funding for reinsurance, state premium assistance and cost-sharing reductions, and coverage expansions for people left out of health reform, including undocumented Coloradans.  


The Children’s Campaign strongly supports this bill. It would implement a two-phased approach to bring more affordable health insurance options to Coloradans in the individual and small employer markets. It would first provide an opportunity for the health care industry to work together to reduce the cost of care over two years, and would then allow the state to offer a standardized plan through a newly created Colorado Health Insurance Option to provide families with more affordable health coverage in the event that carriers do not meet the cost reduction goals in the bill.  

Even before the pandemic, one in five Coloradans struggled to afford their health care costs or went without care altogether. One in six Colorado counties still have only one health insurance carrier offering individual insurance plans. We need more affordable health insurance options to improve health equity and ensure Black/African American, Native American, and Latinx Coloradans have access to health insurance and health care when they need it. 

Current Status

Introduced in the House and assigned to the House Health & Insurance Committee, where it is scheduled to be heard on WednesdayApr. 7 at 1:30. You can listen online here. 

Previous Status

March 26, 2021

Introduced in the House and assigned to the House Health & Insurance Committee, where it will likely be heard next week. This bill needs your help! Please take action to support this legislation by contacting your legislator via email or social media. You can check this page for updatesYou can listen online here.