Governor signs bills to drive down health costs
Governor Jared Polis signed four bills into law that will make health care more easily accessible and help Coloradans save money on critical services during a time when they need it the most.
SB20-215, extends the state’s reinsurance program for an additional five years and creates a sustainable, long-term funding source for the program as its success has drastically lowered premiums for Coloradans who purchase their insurance on the individual market. The reinsurance program resulted in approximately 17 percent premium reductions along the Front Range and up to 30 percent premium reductions in Western Colorado.
“These are tough times for Coloradans, and we need to ensure that everyone in our state has access to affordable health care,” said Rep. Julie McCluskie, D-Dillon. “The reinsurance program has lowered the cost of healthcare for Colorado families, often by thousands of dollars a year, bringing significant relief to our rural areas that have some of the highest costs in the country.”
“Access to affordable health care is vital during the COVID-19 pandemic and driving down insurance rates means more Coloradans have a little extra money to spend on essential goods,” said Rep. Chris Kennedy, D-Lakewood. “This law extends the successful reinsurance program, which is saving Coloradans money on their insurance premiums and increasing access to life-saving care.”
The Governor also signed a number of other bills intended to facilitate enrollment for health coverage and expand access to care. Sponsored by Representatives Susan Lontine and Perry Will, HB20-1236 facilitates ‘Easy Enrollment’ in health insurance for Coloradans who are uninsured. If they choose to opt-in to the program, the bill gives household members who filed taxes information about ways in which they could receive subsidized healthcare coverage.
During the COVID crisis, telehealth has been a lifeline to many Coloradans who cannot see their doctor in person. SB20-212, sponsored by Representatives Lontine and Matt Soper, continues critical access to telehealth services.
The governor also signed SB20-033, which expands the state’s Medicaid buy-in program for working, disabled seniors who are 65 or older.
“All Coloradans should have access to the affordable healthcare that they need, especially during this unprecedented public health emergency,” said Rep. Susan Lontine, D-Denver.”
Presidential message on National Air Traffic Control Day: “Across nearly 30 million square miles of American-controlled airspace, passengers fly safely and efficiently thanks to the diligent work of the men and women of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). On National Air Traffic Control Day, we recognize these dedicated professionals for the ingenuity and skill they use to safeguard America’s reputation for aviation excellence.”
Governor Polis signed Executive Order B 2020 004, creating the Colorado Geographic Naming Advisory Board. “This new board will play a critical role in the ongoing celebration of our Colorado history through place names and ensure that we have inclusivity and transparency around the naming process,” said Governor Jared Polis. “This bi-partisan board will ensure that a broad spectrum of Coloradans, local communities, and Colorado’s land-based Tribes can collaborate on any potential naming or renaming of Colorado geological points or landmarks.”
Mayor Michael B. Hancock announced his support for two major proposals to better support and serve people experiencing homelessness – the establishment of temporary, managed campsites and the creation of a new dedicated funding source.
The Colorado Village Collaborative, which operates the Beloved Community tiny home village in Denver, has proposed a Safe Outdoor Space concept to provide emergency support to people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.