Colo. Insurance Commissioner approves UnitedHealthcare acquisition of Rocky Mountain Health Plans


DENVER (Feb. 10, 2017) – Colorado’s Insurance Commissioner, Marguerite Salazar, has approved UnitedHealthcare’s (United) acquisition of Rocky Mountain Health Maintenance Organization, Inc. (RMHMO) and Rocky Mountain HealthCare Options, Inc., doing business as Rocky Mountain Health Plans (Rocky).  

“This deal will allow Rocky to continue to serve Coloradans, particularly on the Western Slope,” said Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar, who heads the Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA).  “I want to thank all of the organizations that submitted comments on this matter. These served to inform my decision, and are reflected in the final approval order.”

However, the approval requires that United and Rocky comply with a number of conditions, including:

  • Protecting Consumers - The Commissioner ordered that the costs of this transaction cannot be passed on to Colorado consumers as higher premiums.  
  • Continue to Expand Access to Care and Service - United shall continue Rocky’s work to provide and improve access to health coverage for Colorado consumers, especially on the state’s Western Slope, and continue in that market for at least five years.  
  • Community Support - United shall continue to support community benefits in Western Colorado for three years at Rocky’s current level of support (up to $500,000 per year).  
  • Conversion Approval - The transaction also required the approval by the Colorado Attorney General of the conversion of Rocky Mountain HMO from a non-profit to a for-profit corporation.  That approval was issued on Thursday, February 9.

The acquisition process began in August 2016 when the parties submitted an application for this transaction to the Insurance Commissioner.  In the ensuing months, the Commissioner requested additional information from United and Rocky, including a competitive impact analysis.  Also as part of this process, the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and the Colorado Medical Society all submitted comments and recommendations concerning the acquisition.  A public hearing was held in Grand Junction on January 10, 2017.  
As part of the process, the Division of Insurance concluded that the transaction would not substantially lessen competition in Colorado, nor tend toward a monopoly, and that, after the transaction, Rocky would meet the DOI’s financial requirements for a health insurance carrier.

Read the full order at: Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Conditions and Final Order Approving Application RE: UnitedHealth Group Incorporated and United Healthcare Services, Inc. Acquisition of Rocky Mountain Health Maintenance Organization, Incorporated and Rocky Mountain Healthcare Options, Inc.

UnitedHealthCare is a Minnesota-based corporation that serves approximately 1.2 million people in Colorado.  Founded and based in Grand Junction, Colorado, Rocky Mountain Health Plans and affiliated entities provide services to approximately 280,250 enrollees.


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 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 for more information or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 1-800-886-7675


Media Contact:
Vincent Plymell
Division of Insurance
p: 303-894-2261 | c: 303-910-9614