Earlier this month, I mentioned that the state of Colorado is doing basically everything they can to prevent small employers from providing the same health benefits that large employers can provide (and which are allowed by federal law).
Yesterday, Coloradoan.com posted an article outing the Colorado DOI (Department of Insurance) for the same shady tactics. The article does a great job of highlighting how ridiculous it is for a state to ban a health plan that is specifically allowed in IRS code.
The article highlights one company in particularly, EnergyLogic, who's HRA is at risk because of the states policies. An employee of the company is quoted as saying:
"What are they trying to do? That's what I don't understand. Who is it helping? It's not helping us.
This is exactly the point we all need to remember. The government's job is to serve us. There's absolutely no way for the state government to justify this policy. The DOI's argument is that they're trying to protect individuals that would be denied coverage on the individual market, but I don't understand how denying everyone insurance helps protect the few people with preexisting conditions.
One thing that the article doesn't focus on is that the exact same HRA plan which is being complicated by the DOI would be perfectly fine if EnergyLogic had over 50 employees. It just doesn't make any sense. If the state wants to protect individuals with preexisting conditions (which they aren't doing in the first place), why would they only want to offer this protection employees at small companies?
I hate to sound paranoid, but the only beneficiaries of this policy are group insurance agents and carriers. We at Zane Benefits are trying to get a straight answer from the Colorado state government, but they aren't exactly eager to explain themselves (for obvious reasons).
If you live in Colorado, you should consider contacting some of your local legislators and asking them to put pressure on the DOI to fix this blatantly discriminitory practice. If you want to get involved, shoot us an email.