The Colorado Health Benefit Exchange (COHBE) Board recently approved a planning grant proposal for funds to continue developing the Exchange. The enacting legislation passed last year required the Legislative Implementation Review Committee to review and approve any grants prior to their submission. Due to concerns regarding the state’s ability to create a Colorado-specific Exchange and the proposed salaries of the COHBE staff, the Review Committee, split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, was unable to come to an agreement about the terms of the grant. The arguments played out in the Denver Post after their editorial board accused the Republicans of "politicking" and Colorado Republican Senator Kevin Lundberg responded to the editorial stating the grant would require Colorado to conform to federal requirements.
Currently, the COHBE Board, and the Review Committee are working together with the hope that a grant can be submitted by December 30th, but in the meantime, the Governor’s office requested supplemental funding from the current grant in order to support the COHBE activities until an agreement can be reached.
The COHBE Board continues to meet and is in the process of creating their by-laws, defining their relationship with the Attorney General’s office and hiring an Executive Director.
Dr. Jonathan Gruber of Wakely Associates presented data on the profile of the Exchange customers, as well as anticipated premiums. He received feedback from the Data Advisory Workgroup (DAWG), the Board and other stakeholders, and is in the process of compiling a final report. To view those findings, click here.
The Institute of Medicine recently released guidance on the Essential Health Benefits (EHB). The Affordable Care Act requires that insurance plans participating in the exchanges cover, at a minimum, a package of EHBs. The ESBs will likely be available for comment to HHS by late spring 2012.
For more information on the Exchange, the COHBE Board, workgroups of the Review Committee, you can visit www.ColoradoHealthInstitute.org or contact Alicia Haywood of the Colorado Rural Health Center at email@example.com.