Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently announced $1.5 billion in new exchange establishment grants to California, Delaware, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, and Vermont to ensure these states have the resources necessary to build a marketplace that meets the needs of their residents.
The California Health Benefits Exchange was awarded more than $673 million. (For details, click on the first link below.)
"These states are working to implement the health care law and we continue to support them as they build new affordable insurance marketplaces," secretary Sebelius said. "Starting in 2014, Americans in all states will have access to quality, affordable health insurance and these grants are helping to make that a reality."
Because of the Affordable Care Act, consumers and small businesses will have access to marketplaces starting in 2014. The marketplaces are one-stop shops that will provide access to quality, affordable private health insurance choices similar to those offered to members of Congress. Consumers in every state will be able to buy insurance from qualified health plans directly through these marketplaces and may be eligible for tax credits to help pay for their health insurance. These marketplaces promote competition among insurance providers and offer consumers more choices.
Delaware, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Vermont received awards for level one exchange establishment grants, which are one-year grants states will use to build marketplaces. California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, and Oregon received level two exchange establishment grants. Level two grants are multi-year awards to states to further develop their marketplaces.
A total of 49 states, the District of Columbia, and four territories have received grants to plan their marketplaces, and 34 states and the District of Columbia have received grants to build their marketplaces. To ensure states have the support and time they need to build a marketplace, states may apply for grants through the end of 2014 and may use funds through their start-up year.
For a detailed breakdown of marketplace grant awards made to states, including summaries of how states plan on using the awards announced today, visit: http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/2011/05/exchanges05232011a.html.
For more information on the Health Insurance Marketplace, visit: http://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace.