Division of Insurance opposes change to public charge review.

Division part of joint comment letter from five Colorado state agencies.

DENVER (Dec. 11, 2018) – Gov. John Hickenlooper has submitted a letter urging the Trump administration to withdraw proposed changes to the public charge determination. His letter accompanies joint comments from five of Colorado's state agencies that express opposition to the proposed change, while describing the negative impacts it could have on Colorado families.

In September, the Trump administration proposed a change that would allow immigration officials to consider the use of a broader range of public benefit programs in denying green cards to legal immigrants.

The Colorado Division of Insurance, part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), was a signatory to the joint comments opposing the rule change, along with the Department of Public Health & Environment, the Department of Health Care Policy & Finance, the Department of Human Services and the Department of Local Affairs.

Read the comments opposing the proposed change

With this proposed change, 75,000 Coloradans are estimated to become uninsured, the majority of them children who are U.S. citizens or lawful immigrants. Interim Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway is primarily concerned with the health impact of the proposed rule change for these Coloradans as well as the likelihood that this rule change will drive up premiums for all Coloradans.

From the joint comments:

“Many of the individuals and families that are likely to lose coverage if this rule takes effect will not be able to afford coverage in the commercial market as they currently qualify for public programs due to their income. If these individuals and families are unable to find coverage, it will almost certainly lead to an increase in medical bankruptcies in Colorado as well as an increase in uncompensated care for Colorado hospitals. History shows us that as uncompensated care increases, hospitals seek to recover losses from the commercial market. That will lead to increasing premiums in the commercial market as insurers cover increased hospital costs.

“Most importantly, when individuals and families lose health insurance coverage, they lose access to preventive care, such as prenatal care, and they lose treatment for chronic conditions such as diabetes. Once again this is most troubling for the children that this rule will endanger. The negative health outcomes for the children impacted by this rule very well may follow them for the rest of their lives.”

Because of the impact to Coloradans, the agencies submitting the comments urge the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to withdraw the change to the public charge review, as it is “... inconsistent with the core public health values of the State of Colorado.”

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The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) regulates the insurance industry and assists consumers and other stakeholders with insurance issues.  Visit dora.colorado.gov/insurance for more information or call 303-894-7499 / toll free 800-930-3745

DORA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 1-800-886-7675


Media Contact:
Vincent Plymell
Division of Insurance
vincent.plymell@state.co.us 
p: 303-894-2261 | c: 303-910-9614