The Colorado Division of Insurance recently released 2019 proposed premium increases for individual health plans purchased through the state’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange, and while most of the increases are moderate they would have been even lower if not for attempts by the Trump administration to undermine the health-care law. 

Although the average requested premium increase for plans on the Colorado exchange is 5.94 percent, popular silver plans could go up a whopping 12.3 percent next year. This may not sound so bad overall, but it is a serious problem for small business owners like me.

My family’s 2018 health plan, which was the least expensive option offered by the only insurer available in Pitkin County, costs nearly $30,000. That is a big hit for my business, and I’m worried I will be forced to invest less in my business and my community if premiums keep rising. Through conversations with others in my area I know many are in a similar bind, and at the current rate the cost of insurance will make Colorado a less competitive place to do business. 

The Trump administration is destabilizing the ACA, which will not help small firms. In fact, it will put many of us out of business. The ACA is not perfect, but it can be improved here in Colorado by expanding Medicaid and passing a reinsurance bill to rein in costs so small businesses and our employees can stop worrying about health care and focus on getting ahead.

Matt Dubé