DORA: Level of coercion from Udall ‘zero’

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies Tuesday said the Division of Insurance had not been pressured by U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat, to alter the numbers of insurance policies canceled because of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
“The fact-finding review revealed no evidence of any intimidation, and the ‘level of of coercion by Sen. Udall and/or his staff’ was zero,” according to a letter written by Barbara Kelley, executive director of the Department of Regulatory Agencies, to Colorado Rep. Amy Stephens, a Republican.

Stephens is a member of the Legislature’s Public Health Care and Human Services Committee and asked DORA about the alleged pressure by Sen. Udall’s office, which was first reported by news website The Complete Colorado on Jan. 9.

The Complete Colorado obtained and published internal emails from Division of Insurance staff regarding communication from Udall’s office questioning a statistic that 249,199 Coloradans had received cancellation notices for their insurance policies.

The original story can be found here.

U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, a Republican, also sent a letter to Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar requesting information on the exact number of Coloradans who had received insurance cancellation notices in the past year.

Gardner’s letter can be found here.

DORA responded to Gardner’s letter as well, saying that a Nov. 6 news release had confirmed that 249,199 people received cancellation notices.

“Following this news release, the Division (of Insurance) wanted to research the number of people who received cancellation notices and who also had the option for early renewal,” Kelley wrote in the response to Gardner.
The number of cancellations rose during December and, Kelley wrote, “As of Jan. 13, carriers reported 355,484 people with individual or small group coverage were affected by cancellation notices. Ninety-two percent, or 308,840 people, were offered the opportunity of early renewal.”


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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, marmbrister@ncbr.com or twitter.com/MArmbristerNCBR
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