Colorado to offer health insurance choices to small employers

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The Colorado Health Benefit Exchange announced April 5 that it is on track to open a new health insurance marketplace in October that will help small employers provide increased choice of health insurance options for employees for 2014.

Colorado lawmakers established the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange in 2011 to increase access, affordability and choice for Coloradans seeking health insurance. Officials with the federal exchange, which will manage new online health insurance marketplaces in more than 30 states, recently announced plans to delay choice in the federal program until 2015. States building their own health insurance marketplaces were given the choice to provide small employers with one health plan or with a choice of plans for their employees.

Colorado’s health insurance marketplace, soon to be called Connect for Health Colorado, will offer choice for small businesses and non-profit organizations, including the ability for small employers to offer dozens of health plan options to employees. Employers will be able to set their benefit budget and other parameters, and will also have access to a new statewide support network that includes customer service enter Representatives, licensed brokers and certified Health Coverage Guides. Health plans take effect Jan. 1, 2014.

“Colorado is on track to help small employers provide a range of health plan options to employees through our new online health insurance marketplace that will open in October,” said Patty Fontneau, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of COHBE. “We are committed to fulfilling the vision established by state lawmakers in Senate Bill 11-200 and helping businesses across Colorado support their employees and thrive.”