In the news

The Durango Herald
Dale Rodebaugh

The more people and small employers know about the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the easier it will be for them to find the best health-insurance plan for themselves or their employees, an organizer for the Colorado Public Interest Research Group said Monday.

Keelin Kelly is in the Durango area through today to discuss health-insurance exchanges that will allow consumers to better compare insurance policies.

She made a presentation Monday in the conference room at 700 Main Ave.

The creation of health-insurance exchanges is one of the mandates of the Affordable Care Act, which, among other things, prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. Many of the law’s provisions take effect in 2014.

Kelly will make her last appearance at 6:30 p.m. today at the Durango Public Library, 1900 East Third Ave. She held meetings earlier in downtown Durango, Ignacio and Fort Lewis College.

In La Plata County, 27 percent of adults don’t have health insurance, and scores of businesses can’t afford it for their employees.

Kelly said details of the insurance exchange, which will be directed by a nine-member board, four of them with ties to the insurance industry, haven’t been defined.

Therefore, it’s important that community members or small employers interested in health insurance make their wishes known in early discussions, Kelly said.

“It’s hard to understand, hard to compare insurance policies now,” Kelly said. “The health-insurance exchange will allow consumers to compare apples to apples and better judge which policy fits their needs.”

The research group’s goal is to get all consumer feedback to decisions-makers before next year, Kelly said.

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