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HHS Awards $49 Million to States for HIEs

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, October 4, 2010

Health and Human Services has awarded nearly $49 million in planning grants to help 48 states and the District of Columbia install health insurance exchanges in 2014.

The state-based exchanges will provide consumers and businesses with "one-stop-shopping" to compare and buy health insurance. Americans will have the same healthcare choices as members of Congress—who will also purchase coverage through the exchanges. Individuals and families purchasing health insurance through exchanges may also qualify for tax credits and reduced cost-sharing depending on their income, HHS says.

The grants of up to $1 million each will help the states' determine how their exchanges will be operated and governed, including:

  • Assessing information technology systems and infrastructure and determining new requirements.
  • Developing partnerships with community organizations to gain public input into the exchange planning process.
  • Planning for consumer call centers.
  • Determining the statutory rules needed to build the exchanges.
  • Hiring staff.
  • Planning the coordination of eligibility and enrollment systems across Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program, and the exchanges.
  • Developing performance metrics, milestones and ongoing evaluation.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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