Feds Ask Colorado's Obamacare Exchange to Return $9.7M

By Eric Scheiner | January 6, 2017 | 12:13pm EST
Connect for Health Colorado webpage. (screen grab)

(CNSNews.com) - The federal government is recommending the state of Colorado repay $9.7 million in grant funds it says were not properly managed in the creation of its Obamacare health insurance exchange.

In a press release, the Health and Human Services (HHS) department says, “Connect for Health Colorado (Colorado marketplace), the health insurance exchange established by the State of Colorado under the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, did not expend $9.7 million of federal establishment grant funds in accordance with federal requirements.”

The government concludes the Colorado marketplace did not adequately document costs that it charged to the establishment grants ($4.4 million); charged grants for unallowable contract costs ($4.5 million); improperly transferred costs from one establishment grant to another ($312,000); and improperly awarded bonuses, overpayments, unallowable promotional giveaway items, excessive and unreasonable tips, vendor rebates that were not credited to the establishment grants, and unallowable social activities ($463,000).

The audit recommends the Colorado marketplace refund $9.7 million to the federal government and develop and implement policies to ensure that it expends federal grant funds in accordance with federal and state requirements.

The HHS press release notes that while the Colorado marketplace agreed to improve its procedures and policies, “the Colorado marketplace did not concur with our first recommendation.”

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