Colorado lawmakers approve bill to develop state insurance option

The Colorado state capital building in Denver during the winter.

DENVER — Colorado’s House has sent to the governor a bill to develop a state-run health insurance option.

The bill directs state agencies to recommend a plan to compete with private insurance plans and those offered on Colorado’s health care exchange.

The House approved the legislation by a 45-19 vote late Monday.

The public option legislation directs the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing and the Department of Regulatory Agencies to deliver a proposal in November. The plan would assess costs, funding sources, necessary federal permissions and funding, consumer eligibility and who in government would run the program.

Enrollment could begin in 2020 and a plan, if approved by the federal government, could operate in 2021. Sponsors include Democratic Rep. Dylan Roberts and Sen. Kerry Donovan and Republican Rep. Marc Catlin.

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