Coloradans who buy their health insurance on the state’s exchange — and not through an employer — will see rates increase by 10.4 percent next year.  The rates will rise 7.4 percent for small employers with up to 100 employees. 
The Colorado Division of Insurance on Tuesday announced final rates for 2023. Open enrollment runs Nov. 1 through Jan. 15, 2023. 
Consumers now have the chance for the first time to buy a plan through the Colorado Option, a quasi-public health insurance program that’s been a marquee priority of the administration of Gov. Jared Polis.
The program “allows participants to better understand what they are paying for and prioritizes mental and physical well-being intended to better support total wellness,” said Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera, who also directs the Office of Saving People Money on Healthcare. 
The administration touted what it calls “innovative programs,” created along with state lawmakers, which can save $326 million statewide on individual health insurance plans for next year. That includes the state’s reinsurance program, which helps insure insurers, the Colorado Option, and the insurance division’s rate review process. It said the programs are  “driving substantial savings.” 
A consumer health group said rural consumers will generally face higher increases. It noted the increases come on the heels of news Bright Health is exiting the market, which means roughly 55,000 Coloradans will need to change their insurance plan.
“After several years of fairly stable health insurance prices, Colorado consumers are going to feel these increases, especially in the rural areas,” said Mannat Singh, the executive director of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative. “Insurers and hospitals are not making enough of an effort to meet the required reductions for some Colorado Option plans, but are instead setting a baseline for failing to hit the targets without reasonable justification.”
More than 300 plans in the state
According to the state’s division of insurance, there will be 337 individual plans available across the state. That will include plans offered via the Colorado Option, in the bronze, silver and gold metal levels. The plans are roughly evenly divided between those available through Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s health insurance exchange and those sold directly through insurance companies.  Subsidies to make insurance more affordable are only available when enrolling through the exchange.

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