What would you think is the number one determinant of how much someone pays for health insurance in Colorado?

It’s not whether they’re healthy or what their age is—it’s where they live.

Data continues to show that what a person pays in health insurance premiums are largely attributable to geography. Put simply, health care in rural and mountain areas of Colorado is significantly more expensive than in metro areas.

This is why lawmakers in rural and mountain areas are pushing to do away with the regional cost calculations so that health insurance costs the same whether you live along the Front Range or the Western Slope.

Because health care providers are concentrated on the metropolitan front range, a simple appointment with a specialist may require more than a one-day trip to a metropolitan area for Coloradans living in rural and mountain areas. Couple this with provider shortages that are aggravated by insurance company policies that do not adequately reimburse rural and mountain providers, and you have a recipe for a troubled system for Coloradans in these communities.

ColoradoCare addresses this shortage in several ways:

  • Provider payments may be increased in rural and mountain areas.
  • The large number of uninsured currently living in rural and mountain communities undermines the ability of providers to successfully earn a living. ColoradoCare covers those currently uninsured.
  • ColoradoCare can establish financial or payment incentives for large urban provider organizations to staff rural clinics with specialists a few days a month.
  • ColoradoCare can provide supplemental compensation to maintain primary care offices or hospitals in designated under-served areas.
  • ColoradoCare can promote tele-medicine.

With common sense solutions and accessible care for all Coloradans, we can improve the care and wellbeing of for all Coloradans, especially those in rural and mountain areas who struggle to get the care they need. By taking the responsibility out of the hands of corporate insurers and putting it into the hands of the people of Colorado, we can work together to address these growing concerns so geography is no longer an obstacle to care.

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