The progress and probabilities of the roll out of the Colorado Insurance Exchange

Susan Burke, CMS contributor

The Colorado Health Benefit Exchange will be open for business in October 2013, CHBE Board Chair Gretchen Hammer and Executive Director Patty Fontneau told physicians at last month’s CMS Spring Conference.

The CHBE – an online health plan marketplace – is an evolving program with a mission to increase access, affordability and choices for individuals and small employers purchasing health insurance in Colorado.

While the exchange was created from legislation passed in 2011, it is not a new government health care system. Rather, it is a new gateway to insurance providers that will focus on the unique needs of the state and provide Colorado-specific solutions. It will be supported by a call center and a team of navigators who will be located across Colorado to help businesses and individuals understand their options and find a health plan. In some cases, financial assistance will be available to help with the cost of premiums.

All plans sold inside and outside the exchange in 2014 must provide at least the following 10 categories of services: ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity/newborn care, mental health/substance abuse, prescription drugs, rehabilitative services and devices, laboratory services, preventive and wellness care/chronic disease management, and pediatric services including oral and vision care.

Because the exchange was created from Colorado legislation, it will move forward regardless of what the U.S. Supreme Court decides in regard to the Affordable Care Act.

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Categories: Communications, Colorado Medicine, Practice Evolution, Transparency