Study Assesses State Health Care Option Impact on Business

Sep 10, 2019 | Uncategorized

A study was released today by a Colorado group called the REMI Partnership (Regional Economic Models, Inc.) that projects some of the possible impacts on business of the so-called public option for health care.

The study is titled “Anticipating a State Health Care Option: Will Businesses Face Higher Costs or Will Quality & Access be Cut?.

It was done in response to HB 19-1004, which was passed during the 2019 session of the Colorado General Assembly. Without much analysis, the bill directs the Colorado Division of Insurance and the Colorado Department of Health Care Finance and Policy to create a government health care insurance option.

In the absence of good modeling when the law was passed and few subsequent details about it, the big question is “How will this impact access to care and the costs for businesses?”

Among REMI’s findings:

  • To offer premiums below the market for a government option, government price controls will need to be imposed, which will reduce reimbursements to health care providers by $494 million up to $1.4 billion.
  • That would cause a potential loss of 1,500 to 4,500 health care workers in Colorado, resulting in significant patient access problems.
  • If the revenues caused by the state option are shifted to employer-provided insurance plans and other private sources, the state economy could lose between 2,900 and 8,320 jobs and $320 million to $919 million in total GDP.

Read the full study and key findings here.