Why tens of thousands of Coloradans choose to pay a fine rather than buy health insurance
November 3, 2017
Tens of thousands of Coloradans who could be eligible for free or reduced-cost health insurance instead pay a fine every year for not having insurance at all, according to a new report from a nonpartisan health group.
The issue, for many, is the price of insurance. Especially in rural areas of the state, the cost of insurance — even if it is reduced by federal tax subsidies — can still be many times more than the cost of paying the fine, said Joe Hanel, the manager of public policy outreach at the Colorado Health Institute and the report's author.
"The carrots and sticks are kind of misaligned," Hanel said. "The tax incentives you get to buy coverage are not enough to make it more economically enticing to be insured than to pay the penalty."
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