Colorado lawmakers introduced several health insurance related bills this week, including HB1256, which proposes to allow health insurance policies from other states to be sold in Colorado. This sounds an awful lot like the major talking point of John McCain’s health care reform platform last year.
Marcy Morrison, the Colorado Insurance Commissioner, works hard to regulate the health insurance market in Colorado to make it as beneficial as possible for consumers. Not all states have the same level of regulations in place, and opening the health insurance market to allow for out of state plans to be sold here in Colorado would mean that consumers could potentially end up with lower quality health insurance products, regulated by another state’s rules.
Our health insurance system is complicated enough as it is. There are already hundreds of health insurance policies available in Colorado, all of which have to meet the state’s guidelines and standards. Adding policies from out of state would just complicate things further, and make it more difficult for consumers to separate the good policies from the not-so-good.
John McCain was very much in favor of allowing health insurance to be sold across state lines. Interestingly enough, his home state doesn’t have a high risk pool for people who are unable to qualify for medically underwritten health insurance. Here in Colorado, we have a good high risk pool and good consumer protection laws. As a broker, I’d rather be selling policies that I know meet all of Colorado’s standards.