Frequently Asked Questions
If you’ve got questions about ColoradoCare, you’re probably not alone. We find the more people know about Amendment 69, the more likely they are to vote YES! on it. Please raise your questions on our community call every Wednesday at 7pm (Call 302-202-1110 and key in 941687 when prompted for the access code), and we’ll answer them. Check back here frequently as we continue to add questions and answers.
Didn’t the Affordable Care Act cover everyone?
No, the ACA made a lot of progress, cutting Colorado’s number of 800,000 uninsured residents in half, but with nearly 400,000 still without health insurance, it hasn’t gotten us to universal health care in Colorado; in fact, the number of underinsured continues to grow. With ColoradoCare, the number of uninsured will go to 0. Every Coloradan will pay a reasonable amount based on their income and ability to pay. In most cases this is covered by a 3.33% payroll deduction — with no premiums, no deductibles, and no co-pays for primary and preventive care — and for at least 80% of Coloradans, they’ll pay considerably less than they currently pay for health care.
Isn’t a $25 billion tax increase too much money? Doesn’t it cost too much?
Colorado currently spends $30 billion on health care, and ColoradoCare found a way to cut that spending by $4.5 billion a year while offering more comprehensive coverage and covering everyone. The money we’re currently spending goes to insurance companies, and over 20% of it is spent on bureaucratic waste, CEO salaries, and corporate profits. The insurance industry’s bottom line as about profits. ColoradoCare is a patient-first model. Do the math: $25 billon is a whole lot less than $30 billion. Choose people over profits, and vote YES on Amendment 69.
Won’t Colorado have the highest state income tax?
The income tax stays the same. The premium tax will raise $25 billion a year which will replace $30 billion in current premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. Colorado will spend $4.5 billion less a year. This way, a tax saves money.
How much will it cost me and my family?
A better question might be how much ColoradoCare will save you and your family. The average Coloradan will save thousands of dollars a year when Amendment 69 passes. Please go to the online calculator. Over 80% of Colorado families will spend less on health care with ColoradoCare. Also, with no deductibles, Coloradans will be better able to understand and predict what they will pay with ColoradoCare. Click here to calculate your savings with our on-line calculator.
How will people get care when they’re out of state?
The board of trustees is charged in the amendment with the task of creating the necessary procedures to pay for Coloradan’s healthcare when in another state temporarily. For other countries, you’ll have to get traveler’s insurance. See section 5(4)(n) of the amendment.
What if I’m happy with the care I have now?
For most people, that means being happy with their provider. With ColoradoCare we will be free to chose any primary care provider. Currently employers can change insurance or insurance can change provider networks, leaving us with less choice.
Won’t there be less competition?
There will be more competition among providers, as Coloradans will be free to choose among primary care providers. This is where competition should be. Currently competition is being limited to three main companies, in which the incentives are to collect premiums and not pay for health care, to constrict provider networks, and to avoid covering the older, sicker and poorer.
How will ColoradoCare affect Medicare?
ColoradoCare is designed to help all Coloradans, including Medicare beneficiaries. A large number of Medicare beneficiaries cannot afford Medicare’s deductibles and copays. ColoradoCare provides a Medicare Supplemental Plan without deductibles. Medicare beneficiaries also have substantial amounts of Social Security and retirement exempted from the Premium Tax. It is estimated that 85% of Medicare beneficiaries would pay less in Premium Tax than the value of the ColoradoCare’s Medicare Supplemental Plan, and in addition ColoradoCare may provide other services not provided by Medicare.
Won’t many people move to Colorado just for health care?
This was a concern when Colorado was deciding to expand Medicaid; Colorado did expand Medicaid, neighboring states did not, and there was no in-migration. With the ACA in place nationally, people have less need to move from where they have support systems.
Won’t residents and providers flee the state?
Most employers pay 13.5% of payroll for health care for their employees with many hours and headaches in administration. With ColoradoCare they will predictably and simply pay 6.67%. Most Coloradans will be paying less for better coordinated health care, with no deductibles. The economy of Colorado will be more vibrant.
Isn’t this government controlled health care?
ColoradoCare will be run as a cooperative business that the people and providers of Colorado own. The partisan politics of the Legislature and Governor will have no authority over the Board of Trustees. Decisions will be made transparently and with much more input from the people of Colorado than we now have with private insurers. The payment for health care will mostly happen through taxes, but health care providers will mostly be working privately.
Shouldn’t this be done nationally?
While there may be some efficiencies to be gained by having a national plan, there is not enough political will in Congress. Our government is designed for states to be the engine of innovation. It is also important for us to have local control over how we pay for our care.
Won’t this hurt businesses?
Businesses currently spend an average of 13.5% of payroll on employee health care — including those who currently contribute nothing to health care. Under ColoradoCare, that figure is cut to 6.67%, a tremendous savings for the average business. Businesses will spend much less time and money dealing with the health insurance of their employees. They’ll be better able to focus on their business, as they should. Businesses that work within Colorado markets that currently do not provide health care for their employees will not be at a competitive disadvantage; their employees will be less likely to quit to find work that does pay for health care.
If Colorado HealthOP failed, won’t this be liable to fail also?
While Colorado HealthOP was successfully establishing a cost-effective insurance plan for many Coloradans, funding they were promised for covering people with greater health care needs was withheld. ColoradoCare is designed to have the revenue stream to cover 95% of the current health care needs of Colorado, with almost $2 billion yearly in reserves. ColoradoHealthOP did a good job of covering about 2% of Coloradans; ColoradoCare will have the economics of scale of covering all of Colorado.
Aren’t there too many unanswered questions about ColoradoCare?
The important questions are answered: all Coloradans will be covered, we’ll spend less, and the not-for-profit, locally elected Board of Trustees will be making decisions transparently on our behalf. The bureaucracy of paying for health care will be much simpler. Current insurance policies are seldom understood until after they’re needed and subject to change way beyond our control.