Senators request data on insurance policy cancellations

Colorado Senate Republicans today sent a letter to Marguerite Salazar, commissioner of the Colorado Division of Insurance, requesting more information about canceled insurance policies in the state.

The request follows a report that the Division of Insurance allegedly felt pressure from staff members of U.S. Sen. Mark Udall over a statistic that 249,199 Coloradans had received cancellation notices for their insurance policies as of November 2013.

News site The Complete Colorado obtained and published on Jan. 9 internal emails from Division of Insurance staff regarding communication from Udall’s office questioning the number. The original story can be found here.
The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies last week 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 who inquired to DORA about the reports of intimidation.

A recent report from the division shows that the number of canceled policies has grown since November to 335,000. According to a release Wednesday, Senate Republicans are requesting that the division report back within a month, providing the following details:

  • An updated number of how many individual policies have been canceled due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and how many employer-provided plans have been canceled for the same reason.
  • A geographic breakdown of policy cancellations by county to better illustrate which parts of the state have been impacted most
  • The price difference between old policies and the proposed replacement policies in the case of cancellation notices that included an offer to renew at a higher price, including differences in both premiums and deductibles

The full letter can be found here.

Requests for comment from the Division of Insurance were not returned in time for publication.

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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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