UnitedHealthcare To Buy Rocky Mountain Health Plans

Colorado’s health insurance world is seeing more upheaval with a Western Slope non-profit leaving the market.

Health insurance giant United Healthcare has applied with state regulators to acquire Grand Junction-based Rocky Mountain Health Plans.

Since the Affordable Care Act launched, smaller insurers have struggled to stay afloat according to Michelle Lueck, CEO of the independent non-profit Colorado Health Institute.

“We’re seeing fewer and fewer choices,” Lueck said.

A new study by the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation finds almost a third of counties in the country will have just one insurer offering health plans on Affordable Care Act exchanges next year.

The Division of Insurance and Attorney General’s office will need to review and approve the proposal.

Earlier this year, Rocky Mountain Health Plans announced it would pull out of the state’s health insurance exchange except in its home base of Mesa County.

Last fall, another insurer, Colorado Health OP, failed after state regulators found the cooperative wasn’t financially viable when millions in federal subsidies fell through.