Colorado | Winter | 2009 | Health Plan Analysis

Colorado Medicaid officials are asking for legislative approval to expand managed care into Medicaid in a much bigger way by 2010. They propose to phase in the movement to managed care through regions and with administrative-services only contracts before moving to full risk. On the Medicare side, several insurers are moving into new markets in the state with Medicare Advantage products, including Humana expanding into more rural areas and Kaiser Permanente into four southern Colorado counties. Businesses are examining the impact of a new law that prohibits discounts due to health status for small-group insurance. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado is reacting to affordability of health insurance products for small businesses with its SmartSense suite, which offers lower premiums and a large network of providers. Humana is appealing to the small-group market with Humana Rewards, a wellness product offered for the first time to groups with fewer than 100 employees in Colorado. The state, meanwhile, is poised to build an "autobahn of bandwith" by creating one of the nation's most complete telehealth networks.