Auditor: If ACA Stays In Place, Colorado’s Health Exchange Stays Solvent

Photo: Connect For Health | C4HC call center - JDaley
Colorado’s health care exchange, Connect for Health Colorado, was created in 2011 under the Affordable Care Act. Arnise Balle is pictured here at one of the exchange’s call centers, in Denver, Colo.

Photo: Connect For Health | C4HC call center - JDaleyA state audit finds that Connect for Health, Colorado’s health care insurance marketplace, “will be financially self-sustaining for the next three years” as long as the Affordable Care Act remains unchanged.

State lawmakers asked the Office of the State Auditor for a performance audit of the exchange, which was last audited two years ago. Connect for Health launched in 2011. About 178,000 Coloradans use the exchange to purchase private health insurance.

Leaders with Connect for Health said they'd strengthened its financial management and made great strides toward financial sustainability through fiscal discipline.

"We actually feel pretty good about what happened with the audit," said CEO Kevin Patterson. "We feel really good that we can make the changes that will give them better confidence in the things that we're doing."

Main Audit Findings:

  • Connect for Health cut about $18 million in costs “by renegotiating contracts and reducing administrative expenses.”
  • If the Affordable Care Act remains unchanged, Connect for Health “will be financially self-sustaining for the next three years.”
  • Connect for Health “did not comply with financial policies, procedures, and/or contract provisions for $50,700, or 11 percent, of sampled payments and almost $4 million in contract costs.”
  • Website functionality and customer service showed improvement, but “Connect for Health did not always resolve appeals expeditiously or maintain good data on appeals and complaints.”

"We actually agreed with the findings from this particular audit, and we've laid out a course correction plan that they could see happening before the end of this year," Patterson said.

You can download the highlights of the audit, or read the full audit.