Colorado to ask for more federal money for health exchanges

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Colorado is moving forward with its health insurance exchange, as required under the Affordable Care Act.

The state is submitting a second establishment grant to the federal government to pay for planning, purchasing technology and developing customer service operations for the period between October 2012 and July 2013.

The group will submit the application before the Wednesday, Aug. 15 deadline.

The health insurance exchange was created by Senate bill 200 in the 2011 legislative session. While the Affordable Care Act requires every state to operate a health insurance market exchange, Colorado’s exchange will operate independently of the federal law. It will proved a one-stop shopping place for individuals seeking health insurance – a way to measure and compare different programs.

The exchanges must be active by Jan. 1, 2014, and must start offering policies in October, 2013.