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Legislative Roundup #1: What We’re Watching

February 19, 2014

Welcome to the Colorado Health Institute’s first Legislative Roundup of 2014. We are tracking the introduction and progress of all health-related legislation. Here are bills that we have been paying particular attention to, complete with sponsors, status updates and a brief explanation.  

House Bill 14-1045: Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Sponsors: Rep. Dianne Primavera (D), Sen. Irene Aguilar (D), Sen. Larry Crowder (R) Status: Passed House Public Health Care and Human Services Committee, Referred to Appropriations

  • Extends the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Program (BCCP) through July 1, 2019. Changes how money gets funneled into the BCCP fund. Removes limitations on who can receive assistance, depending on the location of diagnosis.

House Bill 14-1053: Consistent Requirements for Pediatric Dental Benefits Sponsors: Rep. Beth McCann (D), Sen. Irene Aguilar (D) Status: Sent to governor

  • Allows the commissioner of insurance to make pediatric dental benefit requirements consistent in plans purchased both on and off the insurance marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado.

House Bill 14-1106: Tax Deduction for Affordable Care Act Penalty Sponsors: Rep. Daniel Nordberg (R), Rep. Jared Wright (R) Status: Failed to pass State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee

  • Would have created an individual income tax deduction equal to any penalties paid under the Affordable Care Act.

House Bill 14-1108: Copayments for Physical Rehabilitation Services Sponsors: Rep. Dianne Primavera (D), Sen. Lois Tochtrop (D) Status: Awaiting House second reading

  • Prohibits insurance companies from offering plans with larger cost-sharing requirements for physical rehabilitation services than primary care visits. Limits cost-sharing to 20 percent of the insurer’s payment to the physical rehabilitation provider.

House Bill 14-1115: Medicaid Expansion Private Insurance Pilot Program Sponsors:  Rep. Amy Stephens (R) Status: Passed House Public Health Care and Human Services Committee, Referred to Appropriations

  • As amended, this is a request for information (RFI) to the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to investigate the viability of establishing a pilot program that provides private health insurance to adults with incomes between 100 and 133 percent of the federal poverty level (newly eligible for Medicaid).

Senate Bill 14-016: CDPHE Regulate Freestanding Emergency Centers Sponsors: Rep. Dominick Moreno (D), Sen. Irene Aguilar (D) Status: Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee

  • Requires stand-alone emergency service facilities to be affiliated with a licensed hospital within two years of the bill’s passage. Stand-alone facilities located 25 miles from a licensed hospital are exempt from the requirement.

Senate Bill 14-050: Financial Assistance in Colorado Hospitals Sponsors: Rep. Dominick Moreno (D), Sen. Irene Aguilar (D) Status: Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee

  • Specifies the financial assistance information hospitals are required to provide to patients and gives evaluation and control powers to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Raises the income level for the definition of low-income, uninsured patients from 250 percent FPL to 400 percent FPL and changes cost restrictions from the lowest negotiated rate from a private health plan to the Medicare reimbursement rate plus 20 percent.

We will continue to monitor the progress of these and other bills. Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @CHI_butcherk for more updates from the Capitol this session.