In 2019, Governor Jared Polis and legislative Democrats passed a reinsurance program that almost immediately created significant cost savings on health insurance for many Coloradans. According to a new press release from Polis’ office, those savings are getting bigger:
Governor Polis and the Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), released preliminary information about the health insurance plans and premiums for 2022, for the individual market (meaning health insurance plans for people who don’t get their insurance from an employer) and the small group market (for small businesses with 2-100 employees).
“We need to do more, but our effort to save people money on healthcare is working. Saving people money on health care continues to be a top priority for our administration especially as we build back stronger and the bipartisan reinsurance program is delivering real results. Keeping premiums down an average of 24.1% in the individual market through the reinsurance program means hardworking families will have more money for things like after-school activities, a summer vacation or help with housing,” said Governor Jared Polis.
The savings from the reinsurance program have increased this year. The Colorado Option which Governor Polis signed this year and its standard benefit plan will give Coloradans another tool to save money on health care starting in 2023.
In addition, insurance companies continue to expand where they are offering plans across the state, in both the individual and small group markets. In the individual market, the companies’ proposed expansions for 2022 will leave only one county with a single on-exchange insurance company available – down from 10 counties in 2021, and 22 counties in 2020.
To quote former Vice President Joe Biden from the ACA signing in 2010, this is a “big f***ing deal” that proves out campaign promises from Polis and other Democrats that they would reduce health care costs in Colorado if elected by voters. Average health care premiums in the individual market are now 24% lower than they were before Polis took office.
These numbers are likely to decrease even more once The Artist Formerly Known as The Colorado Option — a bill approved in the 2021 legislative session — is fully implemented in 2023. These are significant policy changes that will benefit people across the state, and the narrative poses a very difficult political problem for Colorado Republicans. Democrats told voters that they would save them money on health care…and they’re doing it. How do you downplay this in 2022 if you are a Republican candidate in Colorado? (SPOILER ALERT: You can’t).
If there is a logical campaign slogan that the Colorado GOP can use to counteract this Democratic message, we’re anxious to see what it looks like. Good luck with THAT, Republicans.