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Informing Policy. Advancing Health.

My Favorite Questions About Health Insurance Exchanges

This is the second in the series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Colorado Health Insurance Exchange planning efforts.  View questions 1-6 on The Colorado Trust’s Community Connections blog.

7. How will the exchange operations be funded?

Congress appropriated funding for states to build exchanges; the operating costs of the exchange are funded entirely by federal funding through 2014. By 2015, exchanges have to be self-sufficient and have non-federal sources of funding for the overhead and administrative costs. Colorado SB 11-200 authorizes the board to apply for federal planning and establishment grants, and to acquire funding through gifts, grants and donations.

8.  Is Colorado considering joining  neighboring states to create a regional exchange?

Exchange planning staff have reached out to other states to inquire about sharing administrative functions, such as customer service call centers. There may be functions and activities that could be done more efficiently and at lower costs by coordinating efforts. The board will need to consider the pros and cons of these partnerships. There is no discussion at this time about creating a regional exchange that would merge markets or risk pools across state lines.

9.  Has the board been appointed yet?

Yes. The nine-member voting board was announced on June 29,  and met for the first time on Monday, July 11. In addition to the appointed board members, there are three ex-officio, non-voting members that include the Executive Director of Health Care Policy & Financing; the Commissioner of Insurance; and  the Director of the Office of Economic Development.  See here for the full list of board members.

10.  Has the federal government issued rules about the exchange yet?

The proposed rule was released on July 11. It is over 200 pages so it will take some time to read through and determine what rules and regulations are consistent with Colorado’s goals for the exchange, and where there may be concerns. The board can decide to write an official response to HHS regarding the proposed rule.

Watch for future blogs with additional frequently asked questions.

What do you think about this idea of a new marketplace to help people choose insurance if they need or want to buy? Post your thoughts or send in questions and follow #COHIEX on Twitter.