Questions and answers on CO's insurance exchange

By By KRISTEN WYATT

Colorado is on track to start a new health insurance marketplace called an exchange. A Q&A about how Colorado's exchange will work:

Q: How many Coloradans are uninsured, and how many of those are projected to get insurance under the exchange?

A: More than 800,000 Coloradans were uninsured in 2011. The Colorado Health Benefit Exchange won't be just for those uninsured, though. State officials say they anticipate 75,000 to 150,000 Coloradans will enroll in the first six months. Colorado's exchange goal for the first few years is 250,000 enrollees.

Q: When will Colorado's exchange be ready to enroll people?

A: October.

Q: How many small businesses are likely to take advantage of the health insurance offered on Colorado's exchange?

A: Colorado officials don't have an estimate. Colorado is setting up a Small Business Exchange, a resource for small businesses to make it easier for them to provide health plan options to employees. The Small Business Exchange will initially serve Colorado businesses and nonprofit organizations with two to 50 employees. Starting in 2016, the Small Business Exchange will serve employers with up to 100 employees.

Q: How is the exchange going to be set up, and which agency will be responsible for overseeing it?

A: The Colorado Health Benefit Exchange will be a public, nonprofit entity. Not a state agency, the Exchange is governed by a board of directors with additional direction from a legislative review panel.

Q: How much money has Colorado received so far from the federal government to do the initial work in setting up an exchange?

A: $61 million.

Q: How will Coloradans access the exchange and what kind of customer support will be offered?

A: State officials say most will use Colorado's exchange via a website, www.getcoveredco.org. Colorado is training thousands of "navigators," or customer service center representatives, brokers and others, to assist customers.

Q: How many people will the exchange employ?

A: The Colorado Health Benefit Exchange currently employs 18 and expects to employ approximately 35 at full operational capacity, not counting customer service center representatives.

Source: Colorado Health Benefit Exchange

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