CBS Denver

“The board of directors of Colorado’s health insurance exchange is meeting Thursday to consider proposals that are likely to increase the cost to consumers.

Connect for Health Colorado staff have proposed raising administrative fees it charges to cover the costs of the technological and other infrastructure needed to allow consumers to comparison shop for insurance and get advice and access to financial aid. Fees are now 1.4 percent of premiums and typically passed on by insurance companies to consumers. Staff said in a presentation to the board ahead of Thursday’s meeting that the exchange also was seeking federal Medicaid reimbursements.

The board was considering fee increases up to 4.5 percent of premiums. For a family paying $1,000 a month in premiums for example, administrative costs that now are $14 could go up to $45.

Connect for Health Colorado staff studied the finances of four other states with exchange enrollments similar to Colorado’s 150,000 and determined they were able to generate at least $12 million more in revenue through either higher reimbursement fees, Medicaid reimbursement, or both.

Adam Fox, spokesman for the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, which lobbies on health care policy on behalf of consumers, said when the marketplace was formed, it was hard to predict what level of administrative fees would be right. Colorado’s fees are among the lowest in the country, he said.”

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