The creation of the exchange represents a step toward Colorado’s compliance with the federal Affordable Health Care Act, and is aimed at making it easier for businesses and individuals to acquire health insurance.
Among the board’s first acts, Betts said this week, will be to hire an executive director.
The exchange, which will be accessible online, is scheduled to begin operation at the start of 2014.
The goal of the program, Betts added, is to “make it easy for people to compare plans and get more participation in the system.” Insuring more people is generally a way to reduce costs. In Colorado, the goal is to cover 300,000 more individuals and 175,000 more small businesses within 18 months of the exchange starting operation.
The concept of a health insurance exchange was developed in Massachusetts, where it is popular and has proven effective, Betts said.
His hope in serving on the board is to ensure that Western Slope concerns are addressed as the exchange is developed, Betts said. In many places on the Western Slope, only two companies currently offer health insurance. More competition could reduce costs.
Gov. Hickenlooper’s other appointments include several health insurance executives.
For his part, Betts has become knowledgeable about health insurance concerns in the course of working with ASAP clients, which consist of many small businesses for whom health insurance costs are a major expense.
The new board meets for the first time on July 11 in Denver.