Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

WebMD News from Kaiser Health News

Colorado Redraws ACA Map To Cut Sky-High Ski Town Rates

By Eric Whitney

Mon, May 05 2014

Relief is in sight – and it won’t involve a lawsuit – for the four counties in Colorado that have the highest Obamacare health insurance premiums in the country.

Local officials in the ski resort region in the mountains west of Denver had threatened to sue over the high rates. But on Friday Colorado Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar said she wants to redraw those boundaries, making the resort counties part of a much larger 22-county pool.

The Affordable Care Act sets a lot of limits on what insurers can do – they can’t charge sick people more, for instance – but one thing that still counts is location, location, location. Premiums can be higher or lower based on how much doctors and hospitals cost in a specific area. And states get to draw those geographic boundaries. When Colorado lumped together Garfield, Pitkin, Eagle and Summit counties — an area that includes the towns of Aspen and Vail — the state created the most expensive insurance market in the U.S., almost by accident.

“It is about fairness,” Salazar said, explaining the new boundary. “When we put (the resort counties) together, we didn’t know what the difference and disparity was going to be. We found out pretty quick.”

That’s a switch from what Salazar was saying in December when she argued that it wouldn’t be fair for some of the state’s poorest counties to subsidize its richest by putting them in the same risk pool.

Local elected officials like Dan Gibbs from Summit County welcomed Salazar’s proposal, saying, “the status quo was killing our middle class.”

But if re-drawing the rating map has the effect Salazar predicts, resort county residents will still have some of the highest ACA premiums in the country.

The current premium for a 40-year-old non-smoker in the resort counties is $483 a month. Salazar says her best guess is that rates would drop 4 to 8 percent in those counties, bringing the premium down to $444 to $464 a month.

Rates would go up in the non-resort counties. Salazar says prices could rise 4 to 6 percent, which would drive the cost of a comparable plan up from $349 a month to about $366.

Latest Health Reform News

Loading …
URAC: Accredited Health Web Site TRUSTe online privacy certification HONcode Seal AdChoices