The American people have been looking for relief from high health insurance costs. The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan and its expansion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its marketplaces help provide that relief. With the pandemic exposing the need for affordable health insurance, this once-in-a-generation legislation makes a vital step toward increasing access and affordability for the millions of Americans who benefit from ACA marketplaces.
As strong as the plan is, however, more must be done. There need to be efforts made to ensure that all Coloradans, rural and urban, can benefit from cost savings, not just those that purchase their insurance through the public marketplace. Beyond that, all Coloradans need there to be good-faith efforts made to reduce out-of-pocket costs like copays and deductibles; two costs that have risen in recent years and were not addressed in the relief package.
Premiums and out-of-pocket costs are a consistent burden on families and negatively impact the ability to access care. In Colorado alone, nearly 90% of uninsured consumers cite cost as the number one reason for the inability to access care. While across the country, premiums and out-of-pocket expenses cost nearly 24 million Americans 10% or more of their annual household income.
The time is now for our leaders to implement common-sense reforms to lower costs and ensure that health insurance is high quality, accessible and affordable.
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