New Colorado insurance exchange visits top 316,000

Colorado’s new health insurance exchange, despite some glitches, saw 316,326 unique visitors between Oct. 1 and Oct. 26, with 44,935 accounts created.

In a statement, the exchange, known as Connect for Health Colorado, said interest has been consistent and manageable.

“Colorado’s health insurance marketplace has seen steady interest since our launch,´ said CEO Patty Fontneau. “In our first three weeks in business, we have had over 300,000 visitors to our site, with over 40,000 consumers creating accounts to purchase insurance.”

The exchange has seen some technical difficulty, although not as severe as that witnessed on exchanges in other states that are run by the federal government.

Exchange spokesman Ben Davis said one of the challenges is dispelling a misperception that Colorado’s exchange is the same as the problem-plagued federal government site.

“A lot of consumers don’t realize we don’t ever touch that thing,”Davis said. “In Colorado, you can’t use the federal exchange because we have our own. It’s a misperception that we’re connected to what’s happening federally.”

Monday, exchange officials said the web site had been operational 98.9 percent of the time and that the wait time to call or chat with operators was 4 minutes and 28 seconds.

Some 3,164 people have enrolled to buy insurance, a figure the state hopes will grow to more than 75,000 by the end of 2014.

“We never expected consumers to log on and buy insurance right away. If you want insurance by Jan. 1, you have to enroll by Dec. 15. A lot of consumers are taking their time,” Davis said.

The exchanges, both state and federally operated, opened Oct. 1, offering insurance policies that will take effect Jan. 1, 2014.

The Customer Service Center is open from 7 am to 8 pm Mondays through Saturdays at 1-855-PLANS-4-YOU (855-752-6749) or visit www.connectforhealthco.com.

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