Colorado consolidating insurance rating areas

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has approved Colorado’s request to consolidate geographic rating areas used to determine health-insurance premiums, a move meant to bring down costs in certain parts of the state.

Two rating areas on the Western Slope will be combined into one area, comprising 21 counties. On the Eastern Plains, 26 counties formerly split into two rating areas will also be combined into one.

The consolidation decreases the number of areas from 11 to nine. The consolidation will not affect rates in Larimer, Weld, Boulder or Broomfield counties.

Rating areas in urban areas will remain the same, under a request submitted to the federal government on May 9. The state was split up into rating areas under the Affordable Care Act based on health-care costs in order to determine a range of premiums on the state health-care exchange, Connect for Health Colorado.

Officials at the Division of Insurance have said that consolidating these rating areas will spread risk out over a larger population, bringing costs down for some while driving them up for others.

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Molly Armbrister covers real estate, banking and health care for the Northern Colorado Business Report. She can be reached at 970-232-3139, or

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