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Auto insurance and the uninsured

In 2003 Colorado changed its auto insurance law from one in “which all drivers were required to have coverage for treatment of any injuries resulting from auto accidents to a system in which just the driver at fault pays.” The result has been a decline in the percentage of auto injury victims with insurance, leading to reduced revenues for hospitals and an increase in uncompensated care.
Health care providers in Colorado are up in arms about the impact the change away from the no-fault coverage has had on their financial wellbeing, claiming an $80 million hit from the new law. Interestingly, according to Insurance Journal, insurance spokespeople seem to acknowledge the transference of expense from the insurance companies and their policyholders to the hospitals. Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, stated:
“We don’t believe people should be required to have medical coverage as part of their auto insurance just because some people don’t have health insurance

Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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