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Health Care

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Senator Mark Udall listens to a demonstration by Kathy Frisbie, Chair of Health Occupations at Fort Morgan Community College. View more photos on Flickr

Since it became law in March 2010, the Affordable Care Act has been working to restrain health care costs for consumers and small businesses alike by increasing access to affordable coverage, providing broader health insurance options and fostering the sense of security that comes with knowing that a family is no longer one expensive illness or injury away from bankruptcy. Because of our nation’s health care law, insurance companies finally are being held accountable for excessive rate increases and how they choose to spend consumers’ premium dollars. And under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies are no longer able to deny or cancel health coverage because of a consumer’s previous illness, place lifetime and annual limits on our medical benefits, or charge women more for health care.

In communities across Colorado, our nation’s health law is putting consumers in charge of more of their health care. Free preventive health services such as screenings and vaccinations are now standard, and parents can keep their children enrolled on their health plans until they turn 26 years old. Additionally, thousands of Colorado seniors have saved more than $90 million on their prescription drugs because the law is finally closing the “donut hole” in Medicare’s prescription drug coverage.

Our nation’s health care law is doing more than just improving the level of care our families receive — it’s also expanding access to affordable coverage for tens of thousands of Coloradans. As part of this effort, our state has developed its own unique online health insurance marketplace to specifically meet the needs of our residents. This new marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado, provides a one-stop shop for individuals and small businesses to compare over 250 plans from 16 insurance carriers and pool their purchasing power. And with more options for purchasing health coverage, Coloradans have greater freedom to switch jobs or start a new business while being able to find affordable health insurance for their families. This is pure Colorado common sense.

The online marketplace also allows Coloradans to determine their eligibility for cost-saving tools like tax credits to help instantly reduce the cost of coverage. In fact, more than 80,000 small businesses and nearly 500,000 individuals in Colorado can take advantage of these tools to help them purchase more affordable health coverage. For more information on comparing health plans on Connect for Health Colorado and to see if you may be eligible for instant tax credits, please visit www.connectforhealthco.com or call 855-752-6749.

I am committed to making sure the health care reform law works for Colorado families. We cannot go back to the old, broken system when adults and children could be refused coverage because of a preexisting condition, the sick faced annual coverage limits and all of us were subject to persistent rate increases. It is simply unacceptable to go back to a time when thousands of uninsured Coloradoans had to show up in emergency rooms for basic care, forcing Coloradans who pay for insurance to foot the bill.

To be sure, no law is perfect. That’s why I have said since the beginning that I will continue working to improve our health care law so that it works for Colorado. Among other things, this includes:

  • Fighting to keep insurance costs as low as possible for hardworking families;
  • Pushing for consumers to be able to keep their existing health insurance;
  • Successfully urging the Administration to ease burdens on small and mid-sized businesses by more gradually phasing in requirements that they provide their employees health insurance;
  • Incorporating the best practices from Colorado’s most successful health care providers; and,
  • Fighting for more doctors to serve rural areas of Colorado.

To see what I’ve been doing to make the Affordable Care Act work for Colorado — and to find more information about how this law affects you, your family or your business — please click HERE.

 
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