The Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday announced the award of $181 million in new grants to help states establish health insurance exchanges. HHS also issued two guidance documents to help states build exchanges.
Illinois, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, and Tennessee received Level One exchange establishment grants, which provide one year of funding to states that have begun the process of building their exchange.
Washington became only the second state to be awarded a Level Two establishment grant, which offers funding over multiple years to states that are further along in building their HIX. Rhode Island was the first state to receive a Level Two grant.
At the press conference announcing the grants and guidance materials, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius noted that the grants enable states to "go at their own pace" as they set up exchanges.
All totaled, HHS has awarded an estimated $1.2 billion in exchange grants since 2010: