Mid-Session Legislative Updates
The Colorado Legislature is starting to seriously address issues in health care affordability. We believe many of these measures will make a difference and impact your pocket book.
We encourage you to let your legislators know of your interest, support or health care story.
Along with an update on legislation of interest, tips are listed below to develop your story, find legislators and other interesting facts.
Did you know?
Outside of the Denver Metro area 62% of adults experience healthcare affordability issues. In the Denver area over 56% of adults have a similar affordability issue. (from Altarum’s Consumer Healthcare Experience State Survey February 2019) Those issues were primarily around:
Are you uninsured due to high premiums? Did you buy your insurance on the exchange, Connect or in the individual market? Are the premiums ‘too expensive’? Reinsurance, a program created in HB19-1168, will make an impact on the cost of premiums in Colorado’s individual insurance market.
Share your story and/or support HB19-1168.
This past week at the House hearing on the Reinsurance bill Jo Hubchik spoke representing the MS Society and the Chronic Care Collaborative in support of the bill. She made the following points:
- When the ACA first passed reinsurance was included to provide stability to rates
- However, it was not implemented and left some groups, particularly those outside of the metro area subject to large premium increases based on just a few large claims since Insurers recoup losses from previous year
- The cost of insurance is already high particularly for those not eligible for tax assistance
- Smaller employers and entrepreneurs are having the same struggles in providing health care
- The need to lower costs is not limited to premiums. The costs for drugs, and specialists’ visits can be a burden to the family budget
- Providing reinsurance protection would help with the premium part of the equation for insurance provided through the exchange
- This is the first effort to resolve the rise in premium costs that does not look to the just raise the price to the consumer. Providers will share in the costs of funding the reinsurance dollars
The bill passed out of committee and on to the full House of Representatives. It now needs our support in the Senate.
ACTION: Let your Representative know you support 1168 Reinsurance. Let us know if you are interested in testifying on the bill when it goes to the Senate. If this bill is of interest to you, please email Allie. email@example.com
Unexpected Medical Bills
One-third of privately insured Colorado Adults received a medical bill they were not expecting. (from Altarum’s Consumer Healthcare Experience State Survey February 2019).
ACTION: Share your story and let your legislator know of your experience with an unexpected medical bill. Email Allie if you have a story about an unexpected medical bill for assistance connecting with your legislator, firstname.lastname@example.org.
OR if you need help with an insurance bill contact the Colorado Consumer Health Initative’s Consumer Assistance Program.
Legislative Advocacy Tips:
The general website for the Colorado Legislature is https://leg.colorado.gov.
How do I find who my legislator is?
Many of us know who our federal congresspeople are, but have never reached out to our state senator and representative. State lawmakers want to hear from you! On the Find my Legislator Page, type in your address and the map will provide you with your state senator and representative.
How do I contact my legislator?
Either by phone or email. The find my legislator page provides you with contact information. Be sure to identify yourself as a constituent, lawmakers typically listen closely when people who live in their district raise issues.
How can I read a bill?
You can search on the Legislature’s website. There is a button to find a bill. If you know the bill number, make sure you put in 19- before the number.
If I want to testify how do I do that? You don’t have to be in the Denver metro to testify. Many bills allow for remote testimony during a committee hearing, and we can help identify how to testify remotely. Email email@example.com for more information.
What are the good elements of a story? And an Ask to a legislator?
Read more on our Share Your Story page.