Report details health care coverage in Colorado

More than 15 percent of Coloradans carried no health insurance coverage last year. Health insurance premiums grew at a faster pace in 2009 than did inflation or wages. And about 14 percent of premiums were used for administrative expenses and producer commissions.

The numbers are included in the 2010 health insurance report from the Commissioner of Insurance in Colorado.

More information about the report is available at the website at www.dora.state.co.us/insurance.

“The annual health costs report provides financial information on health carriers, such as the average premium rate increases and the reasons for premium rate increases,” said John Postolowski, interim insurance commissioner for Colorado.

The 15.7 percent of Coloradans who had no health insurance in 2010 is a slight decline from the

16.2 percent who lacked insurance in 2009, according to the report.

In 2009, a little more than 40 percent of Coloradans had health coverage regulated by the Division of Insurance, while 21 percent were covered by federally regulated self-insured plans offered through their employers.

Another 23 percent of state residents received coverage through government programs, including Medicare, Medicaid the Federal Employees’ Health Benefit Plan and Veteran’s Administration.

More than 61 percent of state residents were covered by either the commercial health insurance market or a self-insured employer health plan, compared to 54 percent of residents in other U.S. states.

While the increases in premiums for employer-provided health coverage in Colorado have mirrored the increases nationwide, employee contributions to those premiums have increased more than the national average.

The number of private employers offering self-insured health plans to their employees increased in Colorado at twice the national rate.

The 10 largest health carriers had nearly 70 percent of the market share in Colorado. There are about 400 health insurance carriers doing business in Colorado.