State health exchange meets goals

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State health exchange meets goals

Colorado uninsured numbers unclear
Fontneau
Lundberg
Sen. Roberts worries about exchange’s plans

DENVER – Insurance brokers in Southwest Colorado are worried the state’s new health-insurance exchange is going to branch out into other lines of business, Sen. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango, said Thursday at an oversight hearing for the exchange.
Connect for Health Colorado CEO Patty Fontneau confirmed that the exchange might one day market life-insurance policies, along with the health-insurance policies it was set up to sell.
But for now, vision coverage is the only new type of policy the exchange’s board is considering, and it won’t branch into new lines of business without working closely with private insurance brokers, Fontneau said.
“We are not in any way, shape or form trying to replace or bypass that group,” she said.
Legislators created the exchange in 2011, and Roberts said she never heard any discussion that it would be anything more than a comparison shopping site for health insurance.
“I think this starts going so far afield from what the exchange was set up to do,” Roberts said.
Fontneau, though, said the exchange’s leaders are looking for new revenue sources to keep fees low. The exchange’s main source of funding is a fee on every policy that private companies sell through the exchange. Federal law gives the exchange the authority to branch out into other lines of insurance, she said.
jhanel@durangoherald.com

State health exchange meets goals

Fontneau
Lundberg
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