Thank you; Good afternoon Madame Chair and members of the committee. My name is David Navas and I’m here on behalf of Healthier Colorado. (I feel I must advise the committee that this is my first time testifying and I’m a bit nervous). I just want to spend the next couple of minutes telling you why Healthier Colorado sees this bill as a solution to a significant problem in cost control and accessibility of eye care. The hard-line divide that exists between medical insurance and vision plans, which often makes access to eye care services so frustratingly confusing, is only made more severe by the stringent regulations placed upon the eye care industry [practices] by the carriers of vision plans. They even force regulations upon noncovered services and materials, which these carriers have no risk in, and thus effectively limit what the provider can offer the consumer. The “defined benefits” approach of vision plan carriers prevents such liability. These one sided contracts of adhesion do not account for cost of service provision and manufacturing of materials when they require discounts which creates a cost shifting to other consumers. They even stipulate how providers stock their retail which restricts competition for other frames, and in a very real way, force a lack of selection, price, and quality which the consumer or patient should have a right to. When you corral consumers into an insurance controlled, overly integrated, market you not only hurt the providers’ business and economy of their practice, but you hurt the affordability and access of all the patients/people that depend on these services. Services which physicians have an ethical duty to provide with the best quality possible and affordability; impossible to accomplish if these harmful practices continue to limit what can be offered.

 

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