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Insurance study headed for the governor’s desk

May 5, 2016

Looking up the Roaring Fork Valley.
Credit Flikr user Jim Leach

  Health insurance is especially pricey in the Roaring Fork Valley. Now Gov. John Hickenlooper is expected to approve a study looking at making the cost of insurance more equitable across the state.

The governor will likely sign a bill in the coming weeks that approves studying what could happen if Colorado changed to one health insurance pricing area. State representatives Millie Hamner and Bob Rankin led the effort.

“All we’re getting here is more transparency on what the problem is,” Rankin said. He described the study as a good first step towards clarifying why the cost of health insurance is so much higher in the mountain resort areas.

The findings are also expected to show whether one pricing area would help bring down the cost of insurance in some regions without unfairly burdening other communities. Right now the Roaring Fork Valley is in what’s called the “West” pricing region, which covers much of the Western Slope.

County Commissioners, including Garfield County’s Tom Jankovsky, helped convince the state legislature to support the new study.