Updates on state and federal health care reform

The Division of Insurance announced(www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/news/division-insurance-announces-deadline-health-insurance-companies) recently that the deadlines for filing, review, and approval is a little different from previous years. Because of the uncertainty at the federal level around the individual market, the 2018 filings are due June 19. They will be made public July 14, and finalization will come in late summer or early fall.

Nearly lost in all the attention focused on the vote in the US House, was encouraging news reported by Consumer Reports on the positive impact the Affordable Care Act has had on personal bankruptcies. The number of bankruptcies across the country has been cut in half after the law took effect, demonstrating the impact medical expenses have on personal budgets. The Colorado Health Access Survey supports those findings. That report noted that personal bankruptcy filings in Colorado numbered 104,000 in 2013 (before the Affordable Care Act took full effect) and dropped to 45,000 by 2015, when the law was fully adopted.

We continue to work with our representatives at the state and federal level to protect the health coverage of all Coloradans and find solutions to the challenge of increasing access, affordability and choice.

Linda Gann is the senior manager, Western Slope Region, for Connect for Health Colorado.