Health insurance company Bright Health announced Tuesday that it won’t offer insurance plans in Colorado next year, meaning roughly 55,000 people in the state will need to find new coverage.
The decision is part of a move by Bright to pull out of every state in which it operates but two — Florida and California — as it struggles for profitability.
“The changes announced today give Bright Health a strong and stable platform for profitable growth at much lower risk,” Mike Mikan, the president and CEO of Bright Health Group, said in a statement.
Bright currently offers plans in Colorado on the individual and small group markets, where people buy coverage on their own or where small businesses buy coverage for their employees, respectively. In addition to Colorado, Bright will no longer offer coverage in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Nebraska, North Carolina, Texas and Tennessee, and it will drop coverage for certain types of plans in Florida.
But the shockwaves will echo especially loudly in Colorado because Bright is intertwined with a major health reform initiative backed by the administration of Gov. Jared Police. Bright is the carrier that offers plans for the Peak Health Alliance, a pioneering “health care purchasing alliance” that unites members of a community to directly negotiate lower prices with local hospitals. As Peak’s selected insurance carrier, Bright then bundles those prices into insurance plans for Peak members. Peak started in Summit County and currently operates in eight western Colorado counties.
Anne Ladd, the CEO of the Peak Health Alliance, said she learned of Bright’s decision to leave Colorado at 5 am Tuesday via a company news release. She said the move means that Peak will not be able to offer plans in 2023 because there is not enough time to team up with a