Commissioner Seeks Establishment of Federal Funding to Support Health Insurance Affordability for Coloradans
Requests support of Colorado’s Congressional delegation.
DENVER (May 11, 2020) – Last week, Colorado Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway sent a letter to Colorado’s Congressional delegation asking for support in the establishment of a federal reinsurance program and to provide additional federal support for people receiving financial assistance in the individual health insurance market.
Commissioner Conway stated that it is “imperative” that the next COVID-19 relief package from Congress provide timely and flexible funding that will allow our state to further strengthen its health insurance markets and give needed relief to Coloradans struggling to keep their coverage.
Like 11 other states, Colorado created its own reinsurance program that reduced premiums in the individual market this year by an average of more than 20% market across the state, with some counties seeing decreases of over 30%.
However, to help continue Colorado’s success, the Commissioner asked for the establishment of a federal reinsurance program.
“A federal reinsurance program can help provide funding to the twelve states that currently have their own reinsurance programs. A federal reinsurance program should also provide funding for the remaining thirty-eight states, as well as the territories, to establish their own reinsurance programs or have the federal government run a reinsurance program for them.
“As state budgets are impacted by the pandemic, federal funding to help support and establish reinsurance programs will allow states to prioritize other vital areas that need relief while utilizing federal funds for our reinsurance programs. That will become even more important as more people begin to turn to the individual market if they lose their employer-based coverage during this economic downturn.”
In addition, Commissioner Conway asked for additional federal support for Coloradans eligible for federal financial assistance for premiums in individual insurance, pointing out that Coloradans earning between 200-300% of the Federal Poverty Limit (FPL) are the group most likely to be uninsured, even though they are likely eligible for premium assistance. Increasing assistance for those in the individual market will allow more people to access much needed health care during this critical time.
Both steps will help Coloradans that find themselves unemployed, furloughed or with reduced income due to COVID-19. Commissioner Conway emphasized the importance of these efforts.
“Ensuring as many people as possible have health insurance will be vital to combat this disease. And to do that, Colorado needs further federal support to strengthen the stability of the commercial health insurance market and provide needed relief to individuals struggling to retain their health coverage.”
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.