Health insurance rates will be higher for Colorado residents next year

Health insurance rates - medical insurance plan

State residents buying their coverage through the state exchange will see higher prices for 2023.

Residents of Colorado are seeing higher health insurance rates for 2023 when they shop for their coverage on the state exchange instead of receiving their plans through their employers.

The average increase is 10.4 percent across all plans, while employers are also seeing increases.

Health insurance rates are rising by 7.4 percent for small employers who have up to 100 workers. The state took longer than usual to announce their final figures for 2023 but did finally make their announcement last week.

Health insurance rates - Enrollment

The open enrollment period starts today and runs through January 15, 2023. This represents the first year that consumers in the state can purchase a plan through Colorado Option, which is a somewhat public coverage program that has been a hyped priority of the Governor Jared Polis administration.

Colorado Option “allows participants to better understand what they are paying for and prioritizes mental and physical well-being intended to better support total wellness,” explained Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera, who is also responsible for directing the Office of Saving People Money on Healthcare.

While the health insurance rates are rising, the Polis administration is touting its “innovative programs”.

These “innovative programs” were developed along with state lawmakers and are designed to save $326 million throughout the state on individual plans for 2023. It included the reinsurance program in the state, the Colorado Option, and the rate review process through the insurance division. According to the administration, the programs are “driving substantial savings.”

According to a consumer health group, rural Coloradans will likely be among those seeing the highest increases in health insurance rates. It pointed out that those increases arrived on the back of the news that Bright Health is stepping out of the market, meaning that about 55,000 people in the state will need to switch plans.

“After several years of fairly stable health insurance prices, Colorado consumers are going to feel these increases, especially in the rural areas,” said Colorado Consumer Health Initiative Executive Director Mannat Singh. “Insurers and hospitals are not making enough of an effort to meet the required reductions for some Colorado Option plans, but are instead setting a baseline for failing to hit the targets without reasonable justification.”

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