Colorado Blue Ribbon Announces Fifth Health Insurance Plan

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The Colorado Blue Ribbon Commission for Healthcare Reform on Monday announced a fifth health insurance plan to add to four other proposals that the committee previously selected, the Denver Post reports (Human, Denver Post,9/11). The commission's goal is to recommend three to five plans on howto expand health insurance without a large increase in costs. Two ofthe final plans, proposed by the Colorado State Association for Health Underwritersand the Committee for Colorado Health Solutions, would require allstate residents to obtain health insurance.

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Under the plans, the statewould provide subsidies to residents who cannot afford to obtain healthinsurance. A third plan proposed by the Health Care for All Colorado Coalition would establish a single-payer health care system administered by the state, and a fourth plan proposed by the Service Employees International Union would expand state health insurance programs and establish a large health insurance purchasing pool (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 8/23).

Thelatest plan presented by the commission would require all stateresidents to obtain health insurance or face a tax penalty. Inaddition, the plan would expand the state Medicaid program and wouldprovide subsidies to help low-income residents purchase healthinsurance.

The plan also would require private health insurers in thestate to offer several low-cost, limited-coverage plans capped at$50,000 in benefits. About 20 members of the commission voted toapprove the plan, but some members raised concerns about the cost andthe effects on employers in the state. A detailed analysis of the costof the plan, as well as proposals to finance the plan, is expected tobe available by mid-October. The commission over the next few monthswill select a final plan to recommend to the state Legislature inJanuary 2008 (Denver Post, 9/11).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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