Healthcare Business News

Colo. exchange appointees spur concern

By Rebecca Vesely
Posted: June 30, 2011 - 3:15 pm ET

Colorado's top elected officials have appointed four health insurance industry executives to its nine-member health insurance exchange board, raising concerns among consumer groups.

Among the appointees are Robert Ruiz-Moss, an executive with Anthem Blue Cross; Elizabeth Soberg, CEO of UnitedHealthcare of Colorado; Stephen ErkenBrack, president of Rocky Mountain Health Plan; and Eric Grossman, vice president at TriZetto, a leading benefits administrator.

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Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper on June 1 signed a law creating the Colorado Health Benefits Exchange Board. The nine-member board will oversee the development of the state's health insurance exchange, where individuals, small businesses and Medicaid recipients can purchase health coverage starting in January 2014. The governor made five appointments, and the Colorado Senate and House majority and minority leaders made the rest.

Also serving on the board are a Denver-based emergency room physician; a small-business owner; a business consultant; the executive director of the Colorado Health Partnerships, a Medicaid mental-heath service provider; and the executive director of the Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved. The members' terms expire in 2013 or 2015.

“The exchange represents a broad collaborative effort between businesses, consumers, providers, the insurer community and the state legislature,” Hickenlooper said in a news release.

Dede de Percin, executive director of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, said in statement that the insurance executives' “existing loyalties may conflict with creating an exchange that best serves Colorado's struggling individuals, families and businesses.”

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