State insurance website offers premium answers

A new health insurance website launched today from the Colorado Division of Insurance hopes to answer the questions about the cost of health insurance — questions that plague Coloradans, officials said.

“This new website will help arm consumers with the facts on what drives the cost of health insurance premiums, how to shop smart for health insurance, and how to get help when an insurance claim is denied,” said Jim Riesberg, commissioner of insurance. “The information on this website will help consumers become better informed, so that everyone can get the most benefit from the insurance they buy.”

Colorado received a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to assist with rate review implementation at the state level. Consumers receive little or no information about proposed premium rate increases, and they are not told why health insurance companies want to raise rates.  This new website has many tools to help consumers become more informed about health insurance, including rate review, and other important topics, Riesberg said.

The Affordable Care Act is bringing a new level of scrutiny and transparency to health insurance rate increases, said Marguerite Salazar, the Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Region VIII.

“This new website launched by the Colorado Insurance Commissioner is a shining example of consumer-friendly and transparent information designed to help consumers make informed choices and better understand their health care,” she said.

Consumers will find information on the types of health insurance available in Colorado, what to look for when shopping for health insurance, the factors that affect the cost of health insurance premiums, the latest news on federal health care reform, and a search tool that will help consumers review the premium rate increases requested by insurance carriers.

The website is available at www.askdora.colorado.gov and click on the “”Are You Prepared for Changes in Health Insurance?” button.