This year, Colorado WINS members secured a 2.5% base-building increase for state workers. We also secured funds to cover any increases to medical premiums, so that our raise is not eaten away by rising healthcare costs. And for the past 6 months, Colorado WINS members have been at the table, working with management to improve healthcare options for state employees.
This is the last fiscal year for which the current healthcare providers are under contract. For FY 2015/16, through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process, the state will request applications form health insurance companies to provide state workers with coverage.
Beginning in October 2013, a group of Colorado WINS members attended three DPA-led meetings to set expectations for the RFP process. The RFP creates the parameters and application for health insurance companies that wish to potentially provide health care coverage to state employees. Colorado WINS members who participated in the meetings included Joe Rogers (Heath Care Policy and Financing, Denver), Pat Roybal (Adams State University, Alamosa) and Dawn Tripp (Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo).
From the beginning WINS members had 4 goals that would increase access and affordability of healthcare for Colorado state workers:
- To increase the number of health insurance companies and insurance products available everywhere in Colorado, especially in the rural areas.
- To increase the health insurance companies’ accountability to the State by increasing the amount of premium dollars tied to the quality of their services provided to their covered state employees.
- To guarantee benefits were not reduced.
- To guarantee members’ deductibles, coinsurance and copays did not increase and if they did increase they did so because benefits increased accordingly.
After the three meetings, a smaller group of DPA officials and WINS members met regularly for 2 full months to craft the RFP. In mid-January 2014 the RFP was released with a question or comment period for interested insurance companies.
The comment section is now closed and the state is reviewing submitted proposals. The final committee, of which WINS is a member, will make final recommendations to the DPA Executive Director on May 15 and a decision is expected not long after.
WINS members have been at the table, working to provide better healthcare options for all of Colorado’s state workers. This means that as the RFP process comes to an end you should have access to better, more affordable care, no matter where you live in the state.