Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet today released the following statements regarding the announcement that the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange will receive a $43,486,747 competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to help establish the state's health insurance exchange. HHS is awarding competitive grants to states who have shown progress in establishing their exchanges. The awards are based on the needs and planned expenditures of each state.
"I welcome today's news that Colorado has been awarded this important funding which will provide our state with a strong foundation to establish a competitive health insurance marketplace designed specifically by Coloradans and for Coloradans," Udall said. "This award is a testament to the statewide collaborative effort that will increase access to affordable health insurance options and empower Coloradans to choose the best option to meet their individual health needs."
"Colorado is hard at work to have the state's health exchange ready to go in 2014," Bennet said. "It will provide consumers an access point to shop for private insurance plans that are competing in the free market for their business. Hundreds of thousands of Coloradans who now don't have insurance or who have insurance in the unstable, high-cost individual market will have a range of more affordable options through the new exchange. Although we have more to do to drive down health care costs, Colorado's exchange is an important step for families who need access to the health care system."
Colorado has previously been awarded a planning grant and an establishment grant to help set up its exchange. Colorado is receiving its second establishment award to continue efforts to set up the services and systems to launch Colorado's new health insurance exchange. Specifically, funds from this grant will provide the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange the resources to meet deadlines for certification, testing and deployment of systems and operations.