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Colorado Businesses May be Forced to Pay Increased Premium Rates

By September 14, 2008

Can employers be forced to offer health insurance to their employees? The answer seems to be yes. Last year, a law mandating health coverage for all took effect in Massachusetts, shifting much of the burden to employers. Now more states are taking a look at how things have progressed and are considering similar legislation to increase health employee benefits.

In Colorado, an initiative will be on the ballot this fall allowing voters to choose whether they want Amendment 56 passed. If passed, employers with 20 or more employees would be required to offer some sort of health care coverage to their employees. The specifics of this law would force employers to pay a minimum of 80% of the premium cost for employees and a minimum of 70% of premium costs for employee dependents. Employers could either provide health insurance through an insurer’s group plan or through a new state authority that will contract with private plans.

For businesses with employees in Colorado, this is something to watch carefully. With premiums rising every year, paying upwards of 80% may be a cost-prohibitive option. Now may be the time to review the plans available to see what’s the best fit quality-wise and price-wise.

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