Lawmakers meet in the Colorado House of Representatives

Lawmakers meet in the Colorado House of Representatives on May 1, 2019. 

 Colorado officials on Monday released their long-awaited plan for a public health insurance option — and it is dramatically unprecedented, in the best or worst sense of the term, depending on your perspective.

The goal of the insurance option, which was one of Gov. Jared Polis and statehouse Democrats’ top priorities during this year’s legislative session, is to provide people with coverage that costs less. At its most basic level, people shopping for health coverage will be able to buy plans offered via the insurance option the same way they would buy any other plan — and it would provide all the same benefits, too.

But how the state is proposing to do that will take Colorado down several relatively untraveled roads, potentially creating a health insurance market like no other in the country that could become a national model — or a cautionary tale.

Let’s dive into the details:

 It’s a “state option” not a “public option”

While much of the talk during the legislative session and beyond was about a government-run or government-backed insurance program, that’s not what this is. Instead, it’s essentially a product that private insurance companies will sell.

Read the whole story at The Colorado Sun. The Colorado Sun is a reader-supported news organization that covers people, places and issues of statewide interest. To sign up for free newsletters, subscribe or learn more, visit

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