Division of Insurance approves health insurance premiums for 2018

Commissioner: Measures to stablize market for 2018 must happen by Sept. 30

DENVER (Sept. 6, 2017) – The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), has approved the individual and small group health insurance plans for 2018. Average premium changes within each market - individual and small group - as well as the average change for each insurance company are listed below.

The Division will have more information, with tables and charts that offer detailed analyses such as county-by-county statistics, in late September / early October. At that time, the DOI will also announce the date of a public forum to discuss the 2018 plans and premiums, with personnel from the Division as well as representatives from the insurance companies in attendance.

Providing stability for the individual market

Colorado did not lose any on-exchange insurance companies selling individual plans for 2018, as noted in the August 16 release. The Division worked to keep those companies in the market by maintaining ongoing discussions, providing information and addressing their concerns.

“While we have worked to provide a foundation of stability in our state, I want to echo what Governor Hickenlooper said in his letter last week,” said Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar. “Even though we need long-term approaches that preserve the gains we’ve made and work to improve our health care system, the immediate need is for our Congressional partners to take actions that stabilize the market and sweep away the uncertainty pushing up rates and making companies skittish. Along with the Governor, I implore Congress to fully fund the CSR program to provide that relief.”

Added Commissioner Salazar, “In the spirit of the bi-partisan approach being spearheaded by Governors Hickenlooper and Kasich, we also turn to our friends in Congress on both sides of the aisle to establish a reinsurance program that would provide relief to the entire individual market, including those who don’t qualify for subsidies, by reducing rates for 2018. Affordable health insurance is truly a non-partisan issue, and these rate increases keep me up at night. While a a reinsurance program can have a dramatic effect on rates, I have to stress that time is of the essence. Any help that Congress can offer for 2018 would have to be completed by Sept. 30 of this year to ensure that we have enough time to implement that help before open enrollment for 2018. But we are preparing and we are working with our colleagues at Connect for Health Colorado to make sure we are ready to respond if Congress acts.”

“We at Connect for Health Colorado are near final preparations for the 2018 Open Enrollment Period but we support the proposals to add stability to the health insurance Marketplace in 2018 that the Governor has brought forward and which have the backing of other state marketplaces.We will do everything in our power to implement changes that could help our customers,” said Connect for Health Colorado Chief Executive Officer Kevin Patterson. “We stand committed to work with the Division of Insurance to increase access, affordability and choice for individuals and small businesses buying health insurance in our state.”

Premium increases in the individual and small group market

This past Spring, the Division asked insurance companies to submit two sets of premiums for 2018 - one that assumed the Cost Sharing Reductions (CSRs) would be funded by the Federal government in 2018, while the other set assumed the CSRs would not be funded. The premiums detailed below for the individual market use the rates that assume the CSRs will continue to be funded.

“Recent signs point to more and more bi-partisan support of the CSRs, so I believed it was important to use the CSR-funded premiums in our review,” said Commissioner Salazar. “The premiums would be up to14 percent higher if we used the non-CSR-funded premium requests. I simply cannot ask my fellow Coloradans to pay even higher premiums for something that at this point almost everyone agrees should be fixed.”

In Colorado, premiums for individual plans (not from an employer) will be increasing by an average of 26.7 percent. It’s important to remember that this number and the numbers below are averages. The specific plan purchased, along with a person’s age and residential location will impact their specific premium, making it higher or lower from the average.  In Colorado, the individual market (plans not from an employer) makes up about 7 - 8 percent of the population who have health insurance (around 450,000 people), while at least 51 percent of Coloradans get their insurance through an employer (small and large employers).

Know that these average premium changes do not reflect federal tax credits for consumers, known as Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTC). These credits make premiums more affordable for consumers who qualify. It is also important to note that in many cases, people can reduce the impact of increasing premiums by shopping and comparing their health insurance options.

INDIVIDUAL Medical Plans, Average Premium Change, by Company

Average individual premium change across all companies: 26.7% (average requested change was 26.96%)

Company Average Requested Change*

Approved Change*          

SERFF Tracking Number**
Anthem (HMO Colorado) 30.2% 30.2% AWLP-131075111
Anthem (Rocky Mtn. Hospital & Medical Service Inc.)
(off-exchange only carrier)
33.5% 33.5%  


Bright Health Insurance Company 15% 27.4% BRHP -131071516
Cigna Health & Life Insurance 41.2% 30.9% CCGH-131026399
Denver Health Medical Plan, Inc. 12.7% 12.7% DVHH-131084752
Friday Health Plans (formerly Colorado Choice) 28.9% 29.7% COHP-131084953
Freedom Life Insurance Company of America
(off-exchange only carrier)
27% 27.1%  


Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado 24.4% 24.4% KFHP-131050040
Rocky Mountain HMO 12.1% 11.5%


* Averaged over all individual plans continuing from 2017 into 2018 that a company will sell, in all areas of Colorado where the company does business, for all ages.
** The SERFF Tracking Number is way to search for the filing on the Division of Insurance’s system.

In the small group market (health plans for small employers with 2  - 100 employees), the average increase will be 6.6 percent. Insurers have more experience working with this market and better understand how to price their products, which is why increases are typically lower than the individual market.

SMALL GROUP Medical Plans, Average Premium Change, by Company
Average small group premium change across all companies: 6.6% (average requested change was 7.46%)

Company Average Requested Change* Average Approved Change* SERFF Tracking Number **
Aetna Health Inc. New Plans for 2018 New Plans for 2018 AETN-131042366
Aetna Life Insurance Company New Plans for 2018 New Plans for 2018 AETN-131042302
Anthem (HMO Colorado) 18.1% 18.1% AWLP-131075085
Anthem (Rocky Mtn. Hospital & Medical Service Inc.) 12.9% 12.9% AWLP-131075058
Friday Health Plans (formerly Colorado Choice) 27.3% 28.1% COHP-131084853
Humana Health Plan Inc.  8.2% 8.2% HUMA-131065459
Humana Insurance Company 8.3% 8.3% HUMA-131065460
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado 3.2% 3.2% KFHP-131050146
Kaiser Permanente Insurance Company 6.4% 6% KFHP-131050242
Rocky Mountain Health Care Options, Inc. 25.9% 25.9% LEIF-131074234
Rocky Mountain HMO -1.7% -2.4% LEIF-131074196
UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company 3.8% 0.5% UHLC-131066987
UnitedHealthcare of Colorado, Inc. 6.9% 6.9% UHLC-131067007

* Averaged over all small group plans continuing from 2017 into 2018 that a company will sell, in all areas of Colorado where the company does business.
** The SERFF Tracking Number is way to search for the filing on the Division of Insurance’s system.

Number of Carriers On / Off-Exchange for 2018
In total, 17 insurance companies will offer individual and small group plans in Colorado in 2018.

  Individual Small Group
On-exchange 7 1
Off-exchange 9 13

For 2018, the insurance companies offering individual plans through Connect for Health Colorado (on-exchange) will be the following.

  • Anthem (HMO Colorado)
  • Bright Health Insurance
  • Cigna Health and Life Insurance
  • Denver Health Medical Plan
  • Friday Health Plans (formerly known as Colorado Choice)
  • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado
  • Rocky Mountain Health Maintenance Organization

Financial Assistance
The premiums released today do not take into account the federal tax credits, known as Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTC), which help to make premiums more affordable. APTC is only available for plans purchased through the state’s health insurance exchange, Connect for Health Colorado. Eligibility for the APTC depends on a consumer’s household income in relation to the federal poverty level.  The tax credit itself is calculated based on income, age and the cost of insurance in a community.  For more information about APTC, contact Connect for Health Colorado at connectforhealthco.com or 855-752-6749.  

Shopping during open enrollment, Nov. 1, 2017 - Jan. 12, 2018
The average increase in premiums assumes a person stays with their current plan, but people can often reduce the increase by shopping and comparing the available options. It is also important for people to consider more than the premiums when looking for health insurance. Consumers should consider the deductibles, along with co-payments and co-insurance costs. They need to think about their doctors, their health conditions and any prescriptions they take and how these are handled by the insurance.

Consumers who have questions about their current plans should contact their insurance carrier, Connect for Health Colorado, their insurance broker, or their employer. 


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
p: 303-894-2261 | c: 303-910-9614