Colorado Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar is poised to begin a study of whether to change the way that health insurers set rates in the state.

Critics have already said the only possible outcome she could reach would be that lowering costs in the mountains would commensurately raise premium prices in the Denver area.

Colorado senators on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved House Bill 1336, would directs the Division of Insurance to study the impacts and viability of creating a single geographic rating area for the purpose for the purpose of determining premiums for individual health plans. The 25-9 passage follows the bill — sponsored by Reps. Millie Hamner, D-Dillon, and Bob Rankin, R-Carbondale — blowing through the House by a 54-11 margin on April 1.

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