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Welcome to the State of Colorado's Health Care Reform Information Site

The Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (PPACA)

presents an opportunity for Colorado to deliver better value for each health care dollar, to create a culture of health with a focus on healthy living and wellness, and to expand access to affordable care. Learn about the different ways Colorado is implementing the PPACA.

Do you need health insurance? Start Here.

Current happenings in health care reform



May 6, 2013

 On May 6, the Governor announced The State of Health: Colorado's Commitment to Become the Healthiest State. To learn more click here.


April 22, 2013

Please note: The event that was scheduled for April 23, 2013 has been rescheduled for May 6, 2013.  For more information click here


April 8, 2013

Gov. John Hickenlooper invites you to learn about Coloado's health agenda.  For more information click here.


Jan 28, 2013

On January 25, 2013 the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange announced it's new name - Connect for Health Colorado! The Exchange will begin using its new name this spring in advance of opening for business in October 2013. Read more details here.


Jan 7, 2013

On January 3, Governor Hickenlooper announced a plan to achieve $280 million in Medicaid savings and expand Medicaid eligibility beginning in 2014. Read the Governor's full press release , and find additional information here.


Jan. 7, 2013

On December 26, 2012, the Governor's Office, Division of Insurance, and Colorado Health Benefit Exchange submitted joint comments in response to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Proposed Rule regarding Essential Health Benefits. You can find our comment here.


Oct. 9, 2012

 The Colorado Division of Insurance has released two documents explaining the rationale behind its decision not to conduct its own reinsurance and risk adjustment programs in 2014. These documents are available here (reinsurance) and here (risk adjustment).


Oct. 2, 2012

 On September 28, Colorado submitted its recommendation for an Essential Health Benefits (EHB) Benchmark plan. The selection process was facilitated jointly by the Governor’s Office, the Division of Insurance, and the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange, and the benefits in the benchmark plan will be used as a template for Colorado insurance carriers to use when designing EHB-compliant benefit plans in 2014 and 2015. Additional information available here.


Oct. 1, 2012

Last week, the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange (COHBE) received a second Level One grant in the amount of $43.4 million. The grant will fund technology and staffing for COHBE through June 2013. For more information, see COHBE’s press release or visit www.getcoveredco.org.



Sept. 6, 2012

 Here is a draft recommendation for Colorado’s EHB Benchmark plan that will be required as the basis for individual and small group health plans in and out of the Exchange. Comments on this draft should be sent to the EHB email, ehb@dora.state.co.us, through September 10. After consideration of the comments from stakeholders, we will release a final recommendation.



August 15, 2012

 State Innovation Models (SIM) Grant: materials now posted from the August 14 webinar hosted by the Governor's Office and HCPF



August 14, 2012

The Governor’s Office is hosting an informational webinar regarding Colorado’s progress and process on the CMMI State Innovation Models (SIM) funding opportunity today, Tuesday, August 14 at 3:00pm. The webinar will provide an overview of the funding opportunity, cover our progress to-date, and ask for feedback and input from interested stakeholders. Register here.



July 27, 2012

HHS has announced the date, time, and location of the Affordable Care Act implementation forum it will hold in Denver next month:

August 22, 2012
9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Davis Auditorium in Sturm Hall
University of Denver
2000 E. Asbury Ave.
Denver, CO 80208


Please register to attend.



July 18, 2012

The Department of Health & Human Services has revised its schedule of forums to foster community conversations about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The forum in Denver will now be held on August 22, 2012 (not August 10, 2012 as announced last week). HHS will also hold a forum specifically to focus on needs of tribal populations in the Exchange; that forum will take place in Denver on August 9, 2012. HHS states that location and registration information for both meetings will be forthcoming. Learn more here.


July 11, 2012

Updated: The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services is holding forums across the country to bring together HHS leadership with community leaders to discuss the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. One of the meetings will be in Denver on August 22, 2012. More information will be posted as HHS releases it. 


July 5, 2012

The Governor’s Office, the Colorado Division of Insurance, and the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange recently hosted a webinar to introduce Colorado’s options for an Essential Health Benefits benchmark plan. Today, we posted additional information to help stakeholders evaluate benchmark plan options, including webinar materials, plan summaries, and detailed policy forms for each of Colorado’s nine options. These are available at the DOI website and the COHBE website. Please continue to send any comments or questions to ehb@dora.state.co.us.



June 29, 2012

 The Governor’s Office, Division of Insurance (DOI), and the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange (COHBE) formally began a stakeholder process today to facilitate the selection of an Essential Health Benefits benchmark plan for Colorado. A webinar recording and other materials are posted on the DOI and COHBE websites. In addition to the webinar, there will be two public meetings, one July 18 from 10am-12pm at National Jewish Health, and the other July 31 from 1-3pm at the HistoryColorado Center. Additional details will be announced soon. Questions and public comments regarding Colorado’s Essential Health Benefits can be emailed to ehb@dora.state.co.us.



June 28, 2012 - Gov. Hickenlooper statement on U.S. Supreme Court ruling

 Gov. John Hickenlooper today released this statement about the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act:


“The court’s decision simply keeps Colorado on the path toward reform we’ve been on since the Affordable Care Act became law. We must also remember that controlling costs across the entire health system is a critical component of expanding coverage. We remain committed to doing everything we can to improve the health and health care of all Coloradans.”


The state of Colorado and the Colorado General Assembly began working in 2006 on a framework for improving health care outcomes for Coloradans. The Affordable Care Act helped build on the work of the state’s Blue Ribbon Commission for Health Care Reform and provided increased funding to make comprehensive reform possible.


A number of important aspects of the law are already improving the lives of many Coloradans based on implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Colorado:


• 1,331 people with pre-existing conditions have received coverage through a new high risk pool, GettingUsCovered.
• 43,997 young adults in Colorado have gained insurance coverage.
• More than 380,000 seniors have taken advantage of preventative services – such as mammograms and colonoscopies – or a free annual wellness visit with their doctor.
• Nearly 1 million individuals in Colorado with private health insurance have gained preventive service coverage.
• Almost 2 million residents, including 696,000 women and 521,000 children, are free from worrying about lifetime limits on coverage – freeing cancer patients and individuals suffering from other chronic diseases from having to worry about going without treatment.
• 40,000 people with Medicare in Colorado have received a $250 rebate and discounts to help cover the cost of their prescription drugs when they hit the Medicare coverage gap.


Last year, the Colorado legislature passed Senate Bill 200 with bi-partisan support, creating the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange. The legislation reflects the unique needs of Colorado, seeks Colorado-specific solutions and explores the maximum number of options available to the state in meeting the goals of quality access and affordability.


“More Coloradans will benefit when the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented in 2014,” Hickenlooper said. “We will continue to operate within the law’s framework and with the General Assembly while making state-level decisions that work for everybody.”



June 22, 2012 - Webinar Announcement: Colorado’s Essential Health Benefits Benchmark Plan

 The Governor’s Office, the Division of Insurance, the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange will convene a public webinar on Friday, June 29, 10 am to 11 am, to discuss the process of selecting an Essential Health Benefits (EHB) benchmark plan for Colorado. Colorado will choose an EHB benchmark plan in the coming months, which will establish minimum health benefits required for many health insurance plans beginning in 2014. In addition to answering common questions about the process, the webinar will provide an introductory overview of a chart that details Colorado’s options for an EHB benchmark plan. Please register for the webinar in advance using this registration link.  The webinar will offer internet-based audio, video, and question submission, as well as phone-based audio. Links to the webinar slides and the EHB Options Chart will be posted on the following websites just before the webinar: http://www.dora.state.co.us/insurance/, www.colorado.gov/healthreform, and www.getcoveredco.org. The webinar will be followed by two public meetings and a public comment period in July.



June 21, 2012

Colorado is receiving $2.96 million to expand our community health centers, the Department of Health & Human Services announced today. This investment will help Coloradans, especially those least advantaged, get the health care they need when they need it. Read more.



June 9, 2012

 Addressing health reform efforts, Governor Hickenlooper champions Colorado-specific solutions, bipartisanship, and achievements improving the lives of Coloradans in this Denver Post editorial.



June 7, 2012 - Update on Essential Health Benefits (EHBs)

For the past few months, the Governor’s Office, Division of Insurance, and the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange have been diligently working to collect data and develop a comparison chart for Colorado’s EHB benchmark plan options. Based on an HHS bulletin issued in December 2011, these options must include the three largest small group plans in Colorado, the largest HMO, both state employee benefit plans, and three largest Federal employee benefit plans.


We are currently finalizing the consumer-friendly chart with specific information on benefits offered by each of the benchmark options listed above, which will be finalized by mid-June. Once complete, we will conduct a statewide public webinar to walk through the chart and each of the benchmark options, hold a series of public meetings to listen to stakeholder feedback, and have a period of open public comment. Our aim is to come to a shared agreement on which benchmark plan is best for Colorado.


As soon as specific dates for the webinar, public meetings, and comment period are set, they will be posted to www.colorado.gov/healthreform, http://www.dora.state.co.us/insurance/, and www.getcoveredco.org.



May 7, 2012

 Recent reports by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Goldman Sachs Group estimate Coloradans could be in line for millions of dollars in rebates from health insurance issuers for comprehensive major medical health insurance premiums, required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).  Beginning in 2011, the law required health insurance issuers in the small group and individual markets to spend 80 percent of premiums on health care costs; those in the large group market are required to spend 85 percent on health care costs. This is known as the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) rule. Health insurance issuers that fail to reach that threshold are required to pay rebates.  The Colorado Division of Insurance wants consumers to know that the information in the reports is an estimate, based on data submitted in annual financial filings to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), and the final calculations in the reports include a number of assumptions. Data upon which the actual rebates will be based will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by June 1, 2012. HHS will then make the final determination regarding rebates, and issuers will pay out those rebates on August 1, 2012.

April 12, 2012 

Colorado selected as one of seven markets nationwide to participate in a federal Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative. Under this program, select primary care practices will receive enhanced payments to provide additional services to patients, including: care coordination; increasing patients' access to care; delivering preventive care; engaging patients and caregivers in managing their own care; and providing individualized, enhanced care for patients living with multiple chronic diseases and higher needs.


April 11, 2012 

Colorado received $3.7M grant to improve the health and development of children and provide early childhood supports and home visits to families who volunteer to receive these services. This award is part of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) and will give Colorado a significant boost in our efforts to keep children safe and healthy.


March 2, 2012 

Since 2010, 29 Colorado companies have received almost $44.3 million to help reduce health insurance costs and ensure continued coverage for early retirees not yet eligible for Medicare. Nationwide, 13 million Americans aged 55-64 benefitted from $4.73 billion in assistance through the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (ERRP), a federal program established by PPACA. Read more about ERRP’s success here.


Feb, 28, 2012 

The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) wants your ideas on implementing health care reform in Colorado. HCPF is identifying changes to Medicaid and CHP+ eligibility systems, training, communication, and practices, and every Friday they will post specific topics on which feedback may be provided for 7 days. Your ideas will help HCPF formulate a plan that will be submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to request enhanced federal funding to implement these changes. To see HCPF’s official letter requesting stakeholder feedback, please click here. To share your ideas, click here.



Feb. 21, 2012 

This Kaiser Family Foundation tool shows people what proportion of their community will benefit from PPACA’s coverage expansions. Check out your zip code here.



Feb. 6, 2012

Understanding the Individual Mandate: Kaiser Family Foundation has developed a simple flowchart to help people understand health reform’s requirement for many to purchase health insurance coverage starting in 2014.  


Jan. 25, 2012

  Family Voices Colorado recently announced the launch of the Colorado Resource Directory, an online resource guide for families and professionals working with children or adults with special health care needs.



Jan. 10, 2012 - Stakeholder Meeting on Essential Health Benefits

On Wednesday, January 18, the Colorado Division of Insurance and the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange will co-host a stakeholder meeting to address the recent HHS bulletin regarding Essential Health Benefits. Additional information available here.



Jan. 4, 2012 - Colorado participants selected for federal innovation programs

 Denver-based Physician Health Partners was selected as one of only 32 participants nationwide in the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization Payment Reform Project, which will test the impact of innovative payment arrangements to achieve better care and outcomes at a lower cost. Additionally, 4 Coloradans were selected from over 900 applicants to participate in HHS’s Innovation Advisors Program.  They include Ms. Erin Denholm, Centura Health; Dr. Daniel Johnson, Kaiser Permanente; Dr. Candice Lagasse, United States Air Force (Buckley AFB); and Dr. Jay Want, Center for Improving Value in Health Care.



Dec. 30, 2011

 Colorado Health Benefit Exchange's Level One Establishment Grant



Dec. 20, 2011

 HHS announced Friday that states will decide what essential benefits must be covered by insurance starting in 2014. Each state will choose from several existing plan structures, including plans offered to state and federal employees, HMO plans, and small group plans. The ACA requires every plan to cover, at a minimum, preventive care, emergency services, pediatric care (including oral and vision), maternity care, hospital and physician services, and prescription drugs. The Essential Health Benefits Bulletin can be found at http://cciio.cms.gov/resources/files/Files2/12162011/essential_health_benefits_bulletin.pdf


Dec. 20, 2011

 The Legislative Implementation Review Committee voted 9-1 to approve the submission of the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange's Level One Establishment Grant application by Dec. 31 to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. If approved, the nearly $18 million grant will fund the next phase of establishing the new state health insurance marketplace, which is scheduled to open for business in late 2013.



Nov. 28, 2011

 The new 2011 Colorado Health Access Survey (CHAS) has been released. It is a statewide survey that focuses on Coloradans’ access to care, usage of health care services, and affordability.

Nov. 28, 2011

The Colorado Health Benefit Exchange has launched their new website, www.getcoveredco.org.

Join Colorado Commissioner of Insurance, Jim Riesberg, to learn the latest information about changes in your health insurance

Upcoming 2011 Meetings

Exchange Board Meetings
September 16, 26 9:30am - 1:30pm
Mile High Room of COPIC
7351 E. Lowry Blvd, Denver, CO, 80230


Beginning October 10, 2011, the Board will meet the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month from 8:30 am - 12:00 pm in the Mile High Room of COPIC. This schedule will remain through the end of 2012. Holiday and other conflicts may change the schedule periodically.

June 10, 2011

Colorado Health Benefit Exchange Board of Directors Inaugural Meeting
July 11, 2011 10:30 - 1:30
(Lunch will be provided for board members at 12:30)
225 16th Avenue, Denver, CO
1st Floor Conference Room

May 19, 2011

The state is seeking volunteers to help design evidence-based outreach and education materials for the uninsured. The committee will be co-chaired by the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing and the exchange planning grant staff. We will hold our first meeting mid-June to discuss current efforts, what we will need going forward, and ways to coordinate with other organizations and existing initiatives. If you are interested in being part of the workgroup that will meet monthly starting in June, please email henneberryj@coloradohealthinstitute with your contact information.

March 18, 2011

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), authorizes the establishment of "American Health Benefits Exchanges" ("Exchanges") in each state. Exchanges will provide a new marketplace for individuals and small employers to shop for and enroll in both public and private health insurance coverage. CHI is seeking to procure assistance with the research and development of a comprehensive report detailing the current state of health insurance coverage in Colorado, and critical details about the existing health insurance marketplace (...more)

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