Nancy Spillane: Isn’t it time we got our money’s worth? | SteamboatToday.com

Nancy Spillane: Isn’t it time we got our money’s worth?







Coloradans now have an opportunity to uplift our citizens and create a healthier society at a substantial cost savings of at least 80 to 85 percent for our residents.

ColoradoCare replaces our current expensive private health insurance and Medicaid with a premium tax. ColoradoCare has no new costs. It is paid primarily through payroll deductions: 3.33 percent (employees) and 6.67 percent (employers). If a Colorado resident has non-payroll income, that income will be subject to a 10 percent tax.

Because of significant tax exemptions and income tax deductions, 85 percent of Medicare beneficiaries will pay less than they would for comparable supplemental coverage if the current system continued. The combination of Social Security income and some pension income (including annuity, IRA, other retirement income) are exempt up to $33,000 for an individual and $60,000 for joint income tax filers.

Beneficiaries who do have Premium Tax obligations can deduct this tax when filing their income taxes. ColoradoCare levels the playing field; all businesses and individuals will pay the same percentage.

Nationwide, employers pay an average of 13.5 percent of payroll for employee health care, and that average includes those employers who currently contribute nothing.

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The average family of four in 2015 paid over $24,000 in out-of-pocket costs for health care. By comparison, under ColoradoCare, a single or couple on payroll earnings of $100,000 will pay $3,300 annually. If they have non-payroll income, they will pay about $7,000 after the ColoradoCare tax is deducted from their federal income tax.  

Hikes of 25 to 40 percent in health insurance are expected in Routt County for 2017. Ask yourself, does that work for me?

Under ColoradoCare, rates cannot go up unless the voters approve increases. Multiple economists calculate the initial rates will cover health care costs for 10 years. When was the last time your health insurance company asked your permission to raise your rates?

To qualify for a waiver from the Affordable Care Act, ColoradoCare is required to provide Silver Plan coverage. The ColoradoCare model exceeds this and will provide Platinum Plus level benefits, with no deductibles and no co-pays on preventative and primary care.

ColoradoCare is a co-op, organized similarly to the Yampa Valley Electric Coop or a federal credit union. Coloradans will elect the ColoradoCare board of directors. When was the last time you elected a director to the board of your health insurance provider When was the last time insurance executives made decisions regarding our wellbeing that were not profit motivated?

With ColoradoCare, if you get hurt or sick out of state, you will be covered.  

ColoradoCare will cover 59 percent of the medical portion of workman's comp paid by employers. I encourage you to do the math and find out how much money your business or you will save at coloradocare.org/for-you/calculate-your-savings/.

If you choose to visit the opposition's website, please be aware that its funding comes from out-of-state insurance companies and the Koch Brothers.  

For-profit health care is inefficient and expensive. One quarter of every health care dollar pays for administration, primarily flowing to out-of-state insurance corporations. ColoradoCare will reduce medical administration.

How do we know this is possible? Medicare operates with low administrative costs, and universal health-care plans in 57 countries operate with the same level of efficiency. Currently, the U.S. pays more than twice per person what other nations pay for health care.

Isn't it time we covered everyone and enjoyed the same quality health care as other global citizens? Isn't it time we got our money's worth?

As more of us come to see the world as it is, this is our chance to make it what we want it to be.

Nancy Spillane

Steamboat Springs