Colorado’s canceled health insurance count tops 200K

"The White House website says if you like your health care plan you can keep it," he said. "Did I hear it wrong?"

DENVER | More than 200,000 Coloradans are losing their health insurance because of the federal overhaul, the state Division of Insurance reported Thursday in a count of lives on health plans canceled by 23 carriers in the wake of new requirements.

The Division announced Wednesday that 106,083 people are on plans in the individual market that are getting canceled for reasons connected to the federal law.

Another 143,116 people are on canceled plans in the small-group market. They’re being directed to shop for new health insurance on Connect For Health Colorado, the state-run insurance marketplace.

In some cases, the insurance plans do not include the benefits that are required by the law as of Jan. 1. In other cases, the companies don’t want to write that particular line of business any longer.

Seventy-five percent of the people on terminated individual plans in Colorado have coverage through two carriers, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado and Anthem’s HMO Colorado. The carriers are offering dozens of new plans for 2014.

State officials tried to downplay fears as people have gotten letters from their insurers saying their plans are being axed because of new federal mandates.

“While some plans are being canceled, Coloradoans have many new options for 2014, due to the strength and competitiveness of our health insurance market,” Commissioner of Insurance Marguerite Salazar said in a statement Wednesday.

But the assurances haven’t muted disquiet from many who have gotten cancellation letters. Most prominent is U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, a Republican from Yuma who has declined coverage through Congress in favor of the individual market.

During a congressional hearing last week, Gardner scolded Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius over the health law’s implementation.

“The White House website says if you like your health care plan you can keep it,” he said. “Did I hear it wrong?”

Another canceled Coloradan is Jim Butterworth of Boulder. His provider, Rocky Mountain Health Plans, is discontinuing Butterworth’s policy even though it appears to comply with new federal insurance regulations. Butterworth’s monthly premium is going from $324.90 to $635.37.

“It gave them an excuse to force me (and others like me) into a plan with a much higher premium,” Butterworth wrote in an email.

Butterworth wrote to U.S. Sen. Mark Udall that he feels “duped and betrayed.”



  • martingale

    Rocky mountain high in Colorado . . . higher premiums, higher deductibles, higher annual caps. (No thanks, I think I’ll just hang onto my existing plan. Oh wait . . . )


    boo boo butterworth….you got jobbed, and of course it’s the insurance company’s fault. Look in the mirror prole and remember you did what massa say do.

  • John K.

    As I recall the great state of Colorado voted to re-elect Obama with Obamacare being one of the major issues in last year’s campaign. So to those enjoying the fruits of Obamacare I say suck it up and enjoy your Hope and Change! No Whiniing, no complaining and if you think things are bad now just wait; we have three more years of Hope and Change. Perhaps you will vote the rascals out of office next year, though I doubt it. God bless you all !

  • Look_A_Squirrel

    Butterworth is one of the Obamabot fools. Like the libs in CA who found their premiums and deductibles skyrocket under ObamaKKKare said:
    “I wanted poor people to have healthcare. I just didn’t know I was going to have to pay for it.”

    Sure. Blame the insurance companies and not the government driving up the cost.

  • Capite censi

    No worries, our democrat legislature will take of all these minor problems in the next session, after all we chose to create a state exchange because we can do it better than the Washington bureaucracy.

    Keep the faith and enlarge our democrats majority for a final solution.

  • tom sanders

    That’s great…!!! all you democrat voters that are losing your health care while on your deathbed waiting to get new coverage at a higher price you can pull that voting lever for democrats.