Reinsurance Keeps Premiums Down for 2021

Division of Insurance works to continue saving consumers money on health care. 

DENVER (July 29, 2020) – The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), has released the preliminary premium information for individual (not from an employer) and small group health plans for 2021. Earlier this month, the DOI released preliminary information on the  number of companies and plans for 2021. These submitted filings are now available for public comment through Aug. 26.

Find more information about all of the preliminary plans and premiums for 2021 submitted by insurance companies at the DOI’s “Health Insurance Plan Filings” website.

“Saving people money on health care has never been more important and I’m proud the reinsurance program will help bring more relief to hardworking people during this challenging time for many individuals and families across our state by keeping premiums down by an average of 17% in the individual insurance market,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We keep working to prevent Coloradans from being ripped off on health care costs and I’m excited to have worked with the legislature to extend and build on the success of the bipartisan reinsurance program.”

Individual Plans

The reinsurance program will again be in place for 2021 for individual health insurance plans (meaning plans not from an employer), and our team has calculated that for 2021, the program will save Coloradans an average of 17.4% over what the premiums would have been without reinsurance. This will be the second year of the program established by the 2019 legislation, HB19-1168, and approved by the federal government in 2019. Recent legislation (SB20-215) will extend the reinsurance program for an additional five years.

Reinsurance works by paying a portion of high-cost claims, allowing insurance companies to lower the premiums for individual health insurance plans. As the reinsurance program brings health insurance premiums down, the amount of money the federal government spends on Affordable Care Act (ACA) tax credits also goes down. But rather than letting the federal government pocket the money, the federal government passes that money through to the state to fund the reinsurance program and maintain lower premiums and market stability. For more information, visit the DOI’s “Reinsurance Program” webpage

Based on the information that the insurance companies have submitted, the overall average change in premiums for the individual market will be a 2.2% increase over 2020 premiums. These are the health insurance plans available on Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s health exchange made possible by the ACA.

“Our reinsurance program continues to save people money on health care,” said Colorado Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway. “While our current situation makes many aspects of our lives uncertain, we continue our work to keep premiums down for Coloradans. The reinsurance program is keeping premiums more affordable, particularly in the higher cost areas in the mountains, Western Slope and Eastern Plains. And over the summer, the DOI team will thoroughly review this information, especially the assumptions around COVID-19 that the insurance companies have built into these premiums.”

Keep in mind that the information below on the plans and requested premium changes is only what the insurance companies have requested, not what has been approved for 2021. The Division will spend the rest of summer reviewing this information to make sure that changes in premiums are justified and that the plans comply with state and federal regulations. Final, approved plans and premiums will be made available in early fall. 

Companies expand offerings in Colorado

As noted in the DOI’s July 9 release, the same eight companies from 2020 will again offer plans on the individual market, and two of those companies, Rocky Mountain Health Plans and Bright Health, are expanding into new counties in the state. This brings down the number of counties that only have one on-exchange company selling individual plans from 22 to 10.

For 2021, a total of 16 insurance companies plan to offer 755 individual and small group plans in Colorado.

Small Group Plans

In the Small Group Market (for employers with 2-100 employees), the overall average change in premiums will be an increase of 5.7% over the 2020 premiums. Again, this information is also preliminary, based on what the companies submitted to the DOI. 

View Plans  / Submit Comments
The plans and requested premiums from the insurance companies, also called filings, are available on the Division’s “Health Insurance Filings” website (click “Search Health Insurance Plan Filings” on that page). Note that these are very technical documents, so be prepared to spend some time on this process. There is a step-by-step video guide (also available as a downloadable print guide) to help you navigate to the filings that interest you, to demonstrate how to find particular information in those filings, and to show you how you can submit comments.

Comments must be received by Aug. 26 to be addressed and incorporated into the DOI’s review of this information. 

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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