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Press Release, Public Option

United States of Care Statement: Colorado Announces Approval of Innovation Waiver for the ‘Colorado Option’

Published On June 23, 2022

Move by CMS allows more than 30,000 Coloradans to purchase less expensive health care plans

Washington, DC United States of Care celebrated the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) approval of a State Innovation Waiver (often called a ‘1332 waiver’) to further implement the Colorado Option. The historic approval of this waiver will allow Colorado to use federal funds to provide quality, affordable, culturally-responsive care to thousands more people in the state. 

“When Coloradans show up to buy health insurance, there will be more affordable, higher quality options designed to better serve people that have traditionally experienced barriers accessing care and coverage,” said Liz Hagan, Director of Policy Solutions at USofCare. “At a time when overall household costs are pinching pocketbooks, we are excited to see that 10,000 Coloradans will now have access to more affordable coverage options in 2023.” 

Colorado’s 1332 waiver is the nation’s first that has been approved for the implementation of a public health insurance option, setting an example for other states as a way to bring down costs and create more dependable coverage. With the approval of the Innovation Waiver, the Colorado Option plans will be at least 15 percent less expensive than other plans available on the state’s exchange, and are expected to serve 32,000 Coloradans by 2027. The Colorado Option plans will be the first in the nation to use federal funds to reduce costs, and include groundbreaking provisions to promote equity.

“USofCare is honored to have been a part of the diverse coalition that worked to pass the Colorado Option,” continued Hagan. “It’s a truly innovative piece of policy, and its approval sets an example for the entire country as a critical step toward improving affordability from coast to coast.” 

USofCare further applauds the efforts of Governor Jared Polis and Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera, along with the Colorado Option’s prime sponsors, Senator Kerry Donovan and Representatives Dylan Roberts and Iman Jodeh. The organization offered additional praise to fellow advocates including the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and Healthier Colorado, who were instrumental in getting this legislation passed.

For more information on the ‘Colorado Option’ Innovation Waiver’s impact see here

About United States of Care

United States of Care is a nonpartisan organization committed to ensuring that everyone has access to quality, affordable health care.