Colorado is among the first six states to receive conditional approval from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of the progress it has made toward creating a state health insurance exchange. The other states were Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington. HHS felt that these states have made enough progress building their exchanges to receive conditional approval to begin enrolling members in October 2013.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires states to create their own health insurance exchanges by 2014 or to opt into a program run by the federal government. Fourteen states, including the six listed above, have told the government they will set up their own exchanges. A majority of states, however, are opting for the federally-run program. Twenty-two governors have sent notice that they won’t build their own exchanges. The remaining states had until last Friday, December 14, to decide.