Colorado's public option: 5 things to know

Colorado lawmakers unveiled their final proposal to require a public health insurance option in the state — a policy only the state of Washington has implemented, according to The Colorado Sun.

Here are five things to know about Colorado's public option and its potential implications for hospitals:

1. Under the proposal, Colorado would set prices for hospitals that treat patients covered by the public option. Prices would not be tied to Medicare rates, but be set using a formula developed by state officials, according to the report.

2. The formula would consider whether a hospital is in a metropolitan or rural area. It will also consider whether the hospital is independent or part of a large system, as well as its population mix.

3. Hospitals would be required to participate in the program. However, it isn't clear what would happen if hospitals don't participate in the program. Insurers also would be required to participate if they wish to sell policies in the individual market, according to The Colorado Sun.

4. Colorado doesn't need federal approval to launch the program, but it is seeking additional federal funding for the proposal through a waiver under the ACA.

5. Hospitals are largely opposed to the plan. Katherine Mulready, chief strategy officer of the Colorado Hospital Association, told The Colorado Sun she doesn't know any hospitals that are "wholeheartedly supportive of this approach." The organization is opposed to price setting.

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