Colorado workers pay higher share of premiums

Colorado’s workers are paying a higher share of health insurance premiums than their counterparts in the rest of the nation.

The Colorado Division of Insurance released its annual report this week, and reported that while premiums in Colorado mirror increases nationwide, employees shoulder more of the payment than the national average.

More Coloradans were also covered by either commercial health insurance or a self-insured employer plan, than the national average, said Marcy Morrison, commissioner.

“But equally interesting and somewhat troubling is that the report shows health premiums are growing at a faster pace than either inflation or wages.”

The 2009 Colorado Health Insurance Report is the first annual report based on a 2008 bill that requires the commissioners to report annually about the cost of health insurance, factors that drive that cost and the financial status of health carriers.

Other key findings:
– In Colorado, 33.3 percent or one out of three Coloradans, have health coverage that is regulated by Division of Insurance. There are 29.9 percent covered by self-insured plans offered through their employer. Another 20.6 percent receive coverage through government programs.
– During 2008, 63.2 percent of Coloradans were covered by the commercial health insurance market or a self-insured employer health plan, which is more than 56.9 percent of citizens nationwide.
– The number of private employers offering self-insured health plans to their employees has increased in the state at twice the national rate.
– The 10 largest health carriers have 70 percent of the market share in Colorado. There are about 400 health insurance carriers doing business in Colorado.