Retirement insights from a Colorado PERA perspective

Legislation & Governance

2019 Health Care Legislation Overview

2021 Colorado Legislative Session

During the 2019 legislative session that
concluded on May 3, the Colorado General Assembly was active in debating health
care. As promised during the 2018 campaigns, the new leadership at the State
Capitol wanted to address rising health care costs. While none of the bills
directly impact PERACare, there were several bills that will change the health
care landscape in Colorado.

For more details on PERA legislation, see 2019 legislative session adjourns “sine die”

A summary of health care-related legislation
is below. The most recent bill status is included in the summary. For more
details on these bills, please use the links in each brief.

  • SB 19-004
    – Address High-Cost Health Insurance Pilot Program

Signed into law by Governor Polis on May 17, this legislation is
designed to mitigate the higher cost of health care insurance in the rural and
mountain areas of the state through the use of health care coverage

  • SB 19-005
    – Import Prescription Drugs from Canada

This bill was signed by Governor Polis on May 16 and allows for
the design and implementation of a wholesale drug importation program
for the exclusive benefit of Colorado residents that would provide Colorado
consumers access to safe and less expensive prescription drugs.

  • HB 19-1004
    – Proposal for Affordable Health Coverage Option

The Division of Insurance is tasked with developing a proposal
that considers the feasibility and cost of a state option for the delivery of
health care insurance. Requirements are that the plan leverage the current
state health care infrastructure and that it improve quality and access to
health insurance. The Division of Insurance must submit a recommendation to the
General Assembly’s Joint Budget Committee on or before November 15, 2019. This
bill was signed into law on May 16.

  • HB 19-1168
    – State Innovation Waiver Reinsurance Program

The goal of this legislation, signed into law by
Governor Polis on May 17, is to make private health insurance that is available
on the individual market more accessible and more affordable by encouraging
competition by carriers throughout the state.The desired outcome would be to
decrease the costs of care.

  • HB 19-1176
    – Health Care Cost Savings Act of 2019

This bill has been sent to the Governor. It would
create a task force to analyze health care financing systems and provide the
General Assembly with information to better understand how to provide adequate
health care to Colorado residents.

  • HB 19-1174
    – Out-of-network Health Care Services

This bill was signed into law by the Governor on May 14. The law
aims to better protect health care consumers by ending surprise medical bills
when out-of-network medical services are used.

While it remains to be seen what impact, if any, the above
legislation will have on health care costs in the state, PERA staff will
continue to monitor the health care landscape and any potential effects on

The Second Regular Session of the 72nd General
Assembly is scheduled to convene on January 8, 2020. Stay tuned to PERA on the
Issues for updates throughout the interim.


  1. Wendell Logan says:

    I want to know why We now have a third party “AIM” involved as a third party between Anthem Advantage and Medicare. Why did PERA board of directors approve this disaster for retirees. Service is terrible and someone should be held accountable.

  2. Douglas Morton says:

    Why eon’t PERA offer Kaiser or s similar HMO to it’s out of state members?

  3. John Paton says:

    Well we folks over here on the Western Slope are still waiting for the “after shocks” of Polis’s signing the above mentioned laws to come into effect. Still waiting…….

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