What does it take to build a health insurance exchange that works?

An early start. A detailed plan. A staff and contractors who know what they’re doing. Lots of public outreach.

And, in Connecticut, $156.3 million.

That’s how much it’s expected to cost to get the new federally mandated exchange, Access Health CT, up and fully running. The exchange began enrolling people Oct. 1, but the “build” of the system continues through this year as bugs are fixed and functionality is added.

Connecticut, like 15 other states and the District of Columbia, is building its own locally based exchange — the marketplace where the uninsured must enroll for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Multiply Connecticut’s costs nationally, and you get an idea of how enormous the undertaking is.

Click here to continue reading Barbara Nagy’s report.