Two public meetings on Nov. 9 and 10 are also scheduled to discuss this request.
DENVER - The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI) has posted an initial draft of its Section 1332 Innovation Waiver Request for the Colorado Option, and has opened the Public Comment Period for this Waiver Request.
The Public Comment Period will be open until November 15, 2021, and comments can be sent to DORA_Ins_Co_Option@state.co.us.
What is a 1332 Waiver Request?
Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act, (ACA), allows states to develop innovative approaches to health care. To put these innovations into practice, a state must submit a waiver request to the federal government to waive certain provisions of the ACA.
Like several other states, Colorado currently has federal approval to operate a Reinsurance Program -- approval that was granted through a 1332 waiver request. Colorado’s Reinsurance Program reduces premiums and increases the affordability of health insurance in Colorado’s individual health insurance market. The program has resulted in an average savings of over 20% in each year it's been in place, and the federal government recently approved the continuation of the program through 2026.
This new 1332 waiver request is an amendment to Colorado’s existing federal waiver, and will combine Colorado’s existing Reinsurance Program with the Colorado Option program under a single waiver. The Colorado Option will be the boldest federal waiver of its kind, as no other state has requested a similar waiver.
Public Comment Period
The public can submit comments about the waiver request for the Colorado Option no later than 5:00 p.m. (Mountain Time), November 15, 2021, to DORA_Ins_Co_Option@state.co.us.
In addition to a public comment period, the DOI is hosting two virtual public hearings regarding this waiver request. These meetings will provide an opportunity for the public to ask questions and submit comments regarding the 1332 Waiver Request and the Colorado Option. They will be virtual meetings only (via Zoom) and attendees must register to attend. Each meeting will cover the same information, so there is no need to attend both.
Should you require Accessibility Services for either meeting, please complete this Accessibility Services Request Form as soon as possible (and no later than Oct. 26) so that the Division can consider and make reasonable efforts to fulfill requests for accommodation and/or direct you to available resources or services.
Utilice este formulario para solicitar servicios de accesibilidad para estas reuniones antes del 26 de octubre de 2021 - Formulario de solicitud de Servicios de Accesibilidadas.
If approved, this 1332 waiver amendment will allow Colorado to fully implement the Colorado Option and lower insurance premiums even further than the current Reinsurance Program, while addressing underlying costs, and providing additional subsidies to communities of color. Preliminary estimates indicate the waiver amendment could bring in an additional several million dollars to Colorado to support health insurance coverage and improvements in health equity for people typically underserved in health care.
The Colorado Option was enacted through HB21-1232, which was signed into law by Governor Polis in June 2021.
The Colorado Option consists of three parts.
- Create Colorado Option plans that all insurance companies who sell individual health insurance plans (meaning not from an employer) or small group plans (for small employers with 2 - 100 employees) must offer. These plans will offer better coverage at a lower cost for individuals, families, and small businesses
- Require these plans to reduce their premiums by 15% by 2025.
- Use federal premium savings to provide health insurance coverage for people who don’t otherwise qualify for federal subsidies (i.e. undocumented Coloradans).
Find more information about the Colorado Option at the Division's Colorado Option website.
About the Division of Insurance:
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 doi.colorado.gov 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 800-886-7675.