New health insurance rates for Colorado are, on average, up just slightly, despite warnings from some critics of Obamacare that they’d skyrocket.
Colorado's Division of Insurance approved more than 1,000 health insurance plans from nearly two dozen carriers for 2015. Consumers in the individual insurance market, and others in the small group market, like small businesses, will be impacted most by the new rates. Most people in Colorado are insured through their employers, and don't buy insurance on the individual or small group market.
Premiums will go up a little over 1 percent on average in Colorado. For individual plans, the increase is less than 1 percent; for small group plans the rise is about 2.5 percent.
"At least for this one year, it does not prove to be the case that the rates are going up significantly," says Jeff Bontrager with the non-partisan research group the Colorado Health Institute. "It really depends on where consumers live as to whether they’ll be seeing an increase or a decrease."
Mountain areas, which had some of the highest rates in the U.S., will see rates drop almost 7.5 percent on average. Rates in Fort Collins and Greeley will go up roughly 5 percent.
“There may be higher rates for some, on average," says Colorado Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar. "But if people will shop, I think they’re going to be able to find something that meets their needs. So, no, they were not the dire increases, the sharp increases that so many people predicted.”
Open enrollment for the new plans starts Nov. 15.