Colorado Option

Page Updated: March 15, 2023

CHA Advocacy Principle: All rates must ensure payment adequacy and efficiency to provide care, and any rate-setting determination should include a fair, transparent process that provides due consideration to cost-drivers, such as pharmaceutical and labor costs, and recognizes good-faith efforts to negotiate.

What Has Been Completed:

Origin: House Bill (HB) 21-1232 established the Standardized Health Benefit Plan Colorado Option.

Background: The regulatory process began to operationalize the Colorado Option in July 2021, and included the development of the standardized plan, cultural competency requirements, the federal 1332 waiver to provide pass-through funding, and the rate-setting process.

Outstanding Items: 2023 is the first plan year that Colorado Option plans are available to consumers. In May, the DOI gains rate-setting authority to set hospital rates for Colorado Option plans following a rate-setting hearing.

The DOI is currently in the processing of pursuing legislative updates to the Colorado Option through HB 23-1224. This legislation would update the preference process for plan selection, grant the Commissioner 120 days to review the rate filings, increase the Commissioner’s discretion to bring a provider to a hearing once identified by a carrier, make all appeals subject only to the court of appeals.  


Meetings/Dates of Note:

    • March – Carriers must notify DOI if unable to hit premium reduction targets (10% below 2021 rates)
    • Wednesday, April 26 – Colorado Option Advisory Board Meeting- register here
    • May – Public hearings will occur on premium rate reductions and provider rate setting
    • September/October – DOI publicly releases standardized plan rates
    • November – January 2024 – Colorado Option plans for 2024 plan year available for purchase

CHA Staff Contact: Megan Axelrod, CHA director of regulatory policy and federal affairs, [email protected]