Colorado health insurance exchange, Connect for Health, considers carrier fee, sets budget

DENVER - The board of Connect for Health Colorado will consider Monday whether to begin charging insurance carriers $1.25 a month for each policy on their books to generate more than $13 million for the state health exchange.

"The carrier assessment is a big deal," Connect for Health chief executive Patty Fontneau said at a meeting of the exchange's finance committee on Thursday.

Approval of the assessment on carriers will be critical as federal startup grants are exhausted and the exchange must become financially self-sufficient, Fontneau said. The exchange must generate all new revenues beginning Jan. 1.

Insurance companies have paid the assessment since 2001 — most recently at $3.79 per policy per month — to support CoverColorado, a high-risk pool for people who couldn't get coverage because of pre-existing conditions, Fontneau said.

With passage of the Affordable Care Act, insurers must cover pre-existing conditions. The Colorado legislature, which created the state exchange, transferred CoverColorado reserves to the exchange.

Learn more about the fees and Connect for Health Colorado's budget from our partners at the Denver Post.