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Shopping For Health Insurance May Get Much Easier For Coloradans

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DENVER (CBS4) – By the fall of next year shopping for health insurance may get much easier for Coloradans.

The Colorado Health Benefit Exchange, created by lawmakers last year, will be open for business in October of 2013. Now community leaders are seeking input to make it as user-friendly as possible.

Coloradans will be able to go to a health insurance marketplace where they can compare rates, quality, and ultimately buy the insurance that best meets their needs.

The Colorado Center on Law and Policy got feedback from more than 700 Coloradans around the state to see what features they’d like to see that would make insurance shopping easier.

“The problem right now is that it’s really hard to find the health insurance plan that’s right for you,” Director Danny Katz said. “The way to do that is to create a one-stop shop website.”

Katz said one strong opinion was people don’t want an automated phone system.

“The bottom line was they want to talk to somebody. They want to communicate with an individual in some way when they get to a point where they’re going to need to ask some questions,” Katz said.

Sarah McGuire is a student at the University of Colorado at Denver who helped organize several forums for students who may soon find themselves in her situation.

“The first benefit for young people is being able to stay on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26,” McGuire said. “That’s be crucial for a lot of people who I know on campus.”

The feedback was presented to a small group of people who were involved in the project — but next it will go to board members with the Health Benefit Exchange to help them mold the final features of this insurance marketplace.

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