A major deadline looms Friday for states to comply with the new health care law. Colorado's an early achiever and doesn't have to worry about the deadline.
The federal government set a Friday deadline for states to notify Washington if they will set up their own insurance exchanges under the federal health care law.
Colorado has already moved ahead setting up an exchange, which is a private marketplace for shopping for health insurance.
Colorado is one of six states that was given "conditional approval" by the federal Department of Health and Human Services for their self-designed exchanges. The approval came Monday.
Exchanges are the gateway to the new health care law for individuals and families who buy their own health insurance, as well as for small businesses.
Currently, it's hard to tell what's a good plan or a fair price. You can get turned down if you have a medical problem, charged more if you are older or a woman. The health care law forbids insurers from turning away the sick, limits what they can charge older people and bans gender-based surcharges. It also requires virtually all Americans to get coverage or face fines.
Exchanges are supposed to make picking health insurance like buying an airline ticket from an online travel site like Orbitz or Expedia.