As we continue our look at the possible effects of Amendment 69/ColoradoCare, we examine the potential positive impacts that passage of the amendment could have for Colorado workers.
Note: We are NOT endorsing a yes or no vote for Amendment 69 in this article series. We offer these articles for informational purposes only, and Colorado voters should make their own choices about how to vote on Nov. 8 (Election Day).
The Argument for Amendment 69/ColoradoCare
Some of the main arguments (for workers) in favor of passing Amendment 69 and creating the ColoradoCare system are:
- Uniform coverage and care: Instead of having a separate workers’ compensation system that is run by the Division of Workers’ Compensation, all treatment and payment for medical services would flow through ColoradoCare. Having all providers and medical care under one system, regardless of whether it was related to a work injury or illness, would potentially lead to more uniform standards of billing, payment and care.
- Better access to medical providers: Currently, medical providers who handle workers’ comp patients must keep a separate set of records (for billing) and are reimbursed at a lower billing rate set by the state. Under the new ColoradoCare system, these extra requirements would not exist, potentially expanding the number of providers who handle workers’ comp cases and giving more access to injured employees.
- Potential cost savings: Right now, 59 percent of every dollar paid in workers’ comp insurance premiums goes toward medical expenses (other portions go toward wage replacement and other expenses). This would be replaced by the new ColoradoCare system, creating a partial savings (albeit offset by the tax increase), that may improve system and cost efficiency. Hopefully, some of that cost savings would eventually be passed along to employers and employees.
These are just a few of the reasons that Amendment 69 has gathered support at the county, state and national level from a variety of proponents (including former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders).
Now that you’ve read why workers support Amendment 69, be sure to check out the opposing viewpoint so that you can understand the issue from both sides.