Gardner: Obamacare unaffordable for Summit County residents
October 18, 2013
My wife and I currently pay $1,442.30 per month for our health care policies, which expire Dec. 31. Based on deductibles, co-pays, coinsurance, annual maximum cost and other policy benefits, the most comparable policy to insure both of use offered on the Connect For Health Colorado web site by Rocky Mountain Health Plans beginning Jan. 1 will cost $2,091.16 per month, a 45% increase.
Summit County is in Rating Area 11 with Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties, as assigned by the Colorado Department of Insurance(DOI). In a story published in the Summit Daily News on Oct. 15,Congressman Jared Polis pushes to lower health insurance premiums for Summit County, Mr. Polis stated that "…I'm optimistic we'll eventually be able to move Summit County over to [Rating Area 3]" and Polis said those counties (Jefferson and Clear Creek counties) more accurately represent health insurance costs facing Summit residents.
That same Rocky Mountain Health Plans policy costs $1,448.89 per month in Rating Area 3 ($642.27 per month and $7,707.24 per year less than Summit County).
While the current geographic areas are set for 2014, Polis said he hopes to move rating areas and therefore reduce rates by 2015. My questions are:
Why did Mr. Polis, our other elected officials and the DOI allow Summit County to be assigned to Rating Area 11 rather than Rating Area 3, which more accurately represents health insurance costs facing Summit County residents?
Why will the residents of Summit County be required to pay nearly 50% more for 2014 health care policies for being incorrectly assigned to Rating Area 11, which in our case will cost us more than $7,700?
Why can't this be corrected for 2014 rather than having to wait for 2015? If it's wrong, fix it now rather than penalizing the innocent.
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