Colorado's public-option-styled insurance plan draws meager interest
Colorado's new government-mandated health insurance plan enrolled 25,000 people in its first year, about 1 in 10 of those who shopped on the state's marketplace.
Why it matters: The Colorado Option, as it's known, is a cornerstone effort by Gov. Jared Polis and Democratic lawmakers to lower health care costs, and how the plan fares is drawing national attention.
Context: The state-governed insurance plans — which are required to offer certain benefits at a discounted price — were available to individuals and small groups shopping the online marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado.
By the numbers: Of the 192,000 people who purchased health insurance through the Connect for Health exchange by Jan. 10, 13% chose one of the state's plans.
- Another 10,000 bought the policy through the state-subsidized OmniSalud program that helps people living in the country illegally buy insurance.
What they're saying: The governor and advocacy groups celebrated the sign-up rate, saying it surpassed original goals, even though the state never published an enrollment projection.
The other side: Critics, namely health insurance companies forced into the system, noted the vast majority of shoppers didn't select the government's plan — even though the state gave it priority in the online marketplace.
"I would say the numbers are a little bit higher than we expected," Meagan Fearing, the president of the Colorado State Association of Health Underwriters, told the Colorado Sun. "But I would also say it's disappointing that we've gone through all of this for a fraction of our state's population."
More Denver stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Denver.