State health exchange gets $17.9 million grant

The Colorado Health Benefit Exchange was awarded a $17.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to continue working on the state’s new health insurance marketplace.

The exchange is scheduled to open in late 2013, ahead of the 2014 federal deadline set aside by the Affordable Care Act.

The money will be used to continue work on the state’s health insurance exchange – a new public, nonprofit entity established by Senate Bill 200 during the 2011 session of the General Assembly. It is governed by a board of directors with additional direction from the legislative review committee.

The mission of the exchange is to increase access, affordability and choice for people and small employers. Plans purchased in 2013 will take effect Jan. 1, 2014.