Colorado Health Insurance Exchange

A bipartisan Colorado health insurance exchange bill was introduced last week by Sen. Betty Boyd (D), Chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee, and Rep. Amy Stephens (R), House Majority Leader. The bill focuses on governance and would create a health insurance exchange that is a nonprofit unincorporated public entity governed by a board of directors. Directors would be appointed by the governor and legislative leadership, and can include insurance industry representatives. The board would not have rulemaking authority; the exchange would be market based and competitive, and all health insurance companies authorized to do business in the state would be eligible to participate. The bill has the support of Governor Hickenlooper but faces opposition from consumer advocates who favor little insurer input and Republicans who don’t want to implement federal health care reform. The bill sponsors, however, believe an exchange mechanism will be a good addition to the state’s private health insurance market, regardless of whether the PPACA survives its legal challenges.

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