Brown: Colorado health exchange may be in trouble


Lots of things have happened in the last several months regarding health care in Colorado that have me worried.

First, let me say that I am thankful for those who have health care insurance coverage today. However, my fear is that this coverage is becoming more cost prohibitive and less sustainable. Almost daily, I have folks complaining about the huge increases in their health care premiums and deductibles.

For example, one small businessman told me that his premium for a family of three went from $456 per month to over $1,300 per month with a deductible of $10,000. Another self-employed husband and father of two complained that his premium of almost $500 had doubled with a deductible in the $5,000 range. This man told me that he was thinking about just paying the $695 per year fine and not having any kind of health coverage. The latest figures indicate that health care insurance costs have increased by 25.8 percent on the Western Slope of Colorado. We were promised that this would not happen under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

The Colorado health insurance cooperative, known as Colorado HealthOP, was recently shut down by the Division of Insurance because it did not meet its legally required minimum capital and surplus levels to stay in operation. There were 82,000 Coloradoans covered by the co-op who will have to find different insurance. Colorado HealthOP had been promised a subsidy by the federal government that did not happen.

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