Issue Brief – Non-group insurance: not a quick fix for health care, by Dr. Robin Baker, April 29, 2009
According to a recent report in Consumer Reports, 14,000 Americans lose employer-based health insurance every day. Many aren’t eligible for public insurance, and COBRA is often too expensive. The individual, or non-group, is often promoted as a solution, but a report by Dr. Robin Baker of the Bell explains that there are a number of factors that will hinder any attempts at expansion.
Regarding HB 09-1143: Concering the authority of a health-maintenance organization to offer basic health services through a limited health benefit plan
Testimony to the Senate Health and Human Service Committee by Robin Baker, March 12, 2009
Issue Brief – Health Savings Accounts and High-Deductible Health Plans, by Blair Woodbury, Aug. 29, 2007
A new analysis of health savings accounts from the Bell Policy Center shows that the tax-advantaged accounts work well for healthy, high-income workers but are too risky for low-income families.
“HSAs may be useful for some consumers, but they are by no means a solution to the major problems in today’s health care system,” said Blair Woodbury, author of the Bell issue brief, “Health Savings Accounts and High-Deductible Health Plans.”
Press release: on the web • printer-friendly PDF
Read the report:
Executive summary online • Executive summary PDF • Full report online • Full report PDF
Denver Business Journal, Aug. 29, 2007 • Analysis: HSAs won't cure health care crisis, by Bob Mook
The Denver Post, Aug. 30, 2007 • Health accounts panned; Policy group says savings accounts too risky, by Steve Raabe
Op-ed column: Rocky Mountain News, Wall Street West section, HSAs miss mark for poor, tax breaks for health savings accounts not enough incentive, by Blair Woodbury, Oct. 6, 2007
Press release – The Bell Policy Center crows over passage of HB 1355; Bill helps small businesses offer employee health insurance. June 4, 2007
The Bell Policy Center hails Gov. Ritter and the state legislature for their positive work to pass House Bill 1355, which will even out health insurance premium costs among small businesses and their employees.
The bill prevents health insurance providers from raising premium rates based on the claims history or health status of employees in small businesses. Rep. Anne McGihon, D-Denver, and Sen. Bob Hagedorn, D-Aurora, sponsored the bill, and Gov. Ritter signed it on Friday, June 1.
Full release: on the web • printer-friendly PDF
Press coverage – Health measure gains backing; The Bell Policy Center supports the bill affecting how premiums are set for small businesses. The Denver Post, Business section, May 22, 2007, by Julie Dunn
The Bell Policy Center placed its support Monday behind a bill that would prohibit insurers from considering employees' health and claims records when setting premiums for small businesses.
The Denver-based policy center said House Bill 1355 would help protect small businesses and workers from premium price fluctuations and called it a "critical building block" in moving the state toward comprehensive health care reform.
"We believe that it will create more opportunity in the state of Colorado for small businesses and their workers," said Bell senior policy analyst Robin Baker.
Issue Brief – Rate regulation in the small-group heath insurance market, by Robin Baker, May 21, 2007
The brief outlines research that supports House Bill 07-1355, “Determining Small Employer Carrier Premiums,” which passed the legislature and is now on the governor’s desk.
At issue is the ability of health insurance companies to set premium rates for small businesses — those with 50 or fewer workers — based on the claims history or health status of each of the company’s workers. Colorado began allowing the practice in 2003, responding to the industry’s claim that insurance companies were being forced out of the market in Colorado. HB 07-1355 would prevent insurance companies from using claims history or health status to set premium rates. It would still allow insurance companies to consider workers’ age, place of residence, type of employment, family composition and use of tobacco in setting rates.
Full report in PDF format • Full report online • Executive summary online • Press release in PDF format
Testimony - Limitation of specific case characteristics used by an insurance carrier to determine the premium rate for small employers - To the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee, by Robin Baker, March 30, 2007
HTML • PDF
"House Bill 07-1355 promotes opportunity for small business employers, employees and the state by taking an important first step toward helping small businesses provide affordable health insurance coverage. This bill removes claims experience and health status as case characteristics that may be considered by an insurance carrier when setting premium rates. Removing these case characteristics will help make health insurance more affordable and help reduce the number of uninsured Coloradans while establishing a stronger market foundation for health care reform."