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  • Federal Government to Help Fund Health Insurance Exchanges

    Kathleen Sebelius, the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary announced a new funding opportunity for state grants to help states implement health insurance exchanges (HIEs).  Sebelius told reporters on a conference call that her department will be vigilant about checking states’ budgets submitted with applications and will focus on keeping states’ expectations realistic about how much funding they will receive.  The amount available for funding is not known.

    To date, 48 states and the District of Columbia have received planning grants of approximately $1 million each for HIEs, which are viewed as a key element of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    HIEs are designed to bring new transparency to the market so that consumers will be able to compare plans based on price and quality, giving American consumers insurance choices. They will also increase competition among insurers.

    Those moving ahead with HIE plans can apply for multi-year funding. The option to states that are making progress in a step-by-step approach can apply for funding for each project year.

    Private Health Insurance Cooperatives are also available as an option to HIE’s.

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