Now that the federal government has approved a Colorado reinsurance program, Western Slope residents who purchase insurance on the state health care exchange will get sizable relief from some of the highest premiums in the country.
That's a considerable achievement. The Colorado Division of Insurance is projecting a 30% drop, or about $9,000 a year, for families on the Western Slope beginning in January. In Mesa County, the figure is slightly lower, about $7,600.
Again, these are savings for people who aren't on a government-sponsored insurance program or enrolled in employer-based coverage. But the individual market largely determines how many uninsured people there are in the state, which can amplify or mitigate the pernicious effect of "cost-shift."