DENVER, Colo. — Nearly 40 Colorado medical professionals have signed a letter calling on the Colorado General Assembly to approve the Colorado Option, a bill that reduces Colorado’s high health care costs and health disparities. The legislation passed the House Health & Insurance Committee today.
“The Colorado Option will make a world of difference for my patients who put off care or worry about paying their bills due to health care costs. When patients can get health care when they need it, and not just when they can afford it, they’re able to stay healthier and lead more fulfilling lives. By ensuring Coloradans can access affordable care when they need it, the Colorado Option will save patients’ lives and help strengthen our whole state,” said Dr. Vaughn Browne, emergency medicine physician in Aurora and a member of the Colorado Chapter of the Committee to Protect Medicare.
The Colorado Option will create a standardized benefit plan available on the individual market through private insurance carriers in every county in the state. If carriers fail to meet the 18% premium reduction over three years, the state may set rates to meet savings targets.
“COVID-19 has highlighted the necessity of ensuring that all Coloradans have access to affordable, quality coverage that meets their health care needs, even if they lose their job,” the joint letter from the Colorado Chapter of the Committee to Protect Medicare reads. “The economic fallout from the pandemic continues to threaten layoffs and loss of employer-provided health insurance for many. Meanwhile, one in five Coloradans had trouble paying medical bills in the past year — the most since the Affordable Care Act took full effect in 2014. Things are only expected to get worse: Health care costs are projected to increase faster in the next seven years than the period between 2016 and 2018.”
The letter goes on to say: “In our many years serving our community as physicians, we can tell you without a doubt: When people have health care and can see a doctor when they want to, not just when they’re facing a life-and-death emergency, they do better. Getting people coverage through the Colorado Option is critical, because individuals who have health coverage are more likely to get the care they need when they need it. That benefits them and their communities, and ultimately all of Colorado.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, April 27, 2021
NOTE: The physicians above are speaking in their capacity as members of the Committee to Protect Medicare. They should be identified only as indicated in this news release.