More States to Implement Health Care Law, HHS Announces

Kathleen Sebelius - U.S. Secretary of Health & Human ServicesHealth and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced on Wednesday, that Illinois, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee and Washington will receive more than $181 million in grants to help implement the new health care law.

The grants will help states establish Affordable Insurance Exchanges, which are expected to become operational in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Insurance Exchanges will help consumers and small businesses choose a private health insurance plan.

“States across the country are implementing the new health care law,” HHS Secretary Sebelius said in a press release issued by the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) on Wednesday. “In 2014, consumers in every state will have access to a new marketplace where they will be able to easily purchase affordable insurance,” Secretary Sebelius said.

Pursuant to the Affordable Care Act, “these comprehensive health plans will ensure consumers have the same kinds of insurance choices as members of Congress,” the HHS press release stated.

So far, counting the new awards announced on Wednesday, 34 states and the District of Columbia have received grants under the Affordable Care Act to fund their progress toward building Exchanges.

In addition to announcing the new grants to States for Affordable Insurance Exchanges, HHS also issued two guidance documents on Wednesday to help the States build Affordable Insurance Exchanges.

Following is the press release issued by HHS on Wednesday, May 16, 2012:


News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 16, 2012
Contact: HHs Press Office
(202) 690-6343

More states work to implement health care law

Illinois, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee and Washington receive grants to establish Affordable Insurance Exchanges

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today that Illinois, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee and Washington will receive more than $181 million in grants to help implement the new health care law. The grants will help states establish Affordable Insurance Exchanges.  Starting in 2014, Affordable Insurance Exchanges will help consumers and small businesses in every state to choose a private health insurance plan. These comprehensive health plans will ensure consumers have the same kinds of insurance choices as members of Congress. Including today’s awards, 34 states and the District of Columbia have received Establishment grants to fund their progress toward building Exchanges.

HHS also issued two guidance documents today to help states build Affordable Insurance Exchanges.

“States across the country are implementing the new health care law,” said Secretary Sebelius. “In 2014, consumers in every state will have access to a new marketplace where they will be able to easily purchase affordable insurance.”

Today, the Department released:

  • New resources for states: The six new Exchange Establishment grant awards to Illinois, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee and Washington total more than $181 million. This round of awards brings the total of Exchange-related grants provided to states over the last two years to more than $1 billion.  Illinois, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota and Tennessee today have been awarded Level One Exchange Establishment grants, which provide one year of funding to states that have begun the process of building their Exchange. Washington is the second state to be awarded a Level Two Establishment grant, which is provided to states that are further along in building their Exchange and offers funding over multiple years.

    In 2010, 49 states and the District of Columbia received Exchange Planning grants totaling more than $54 million; in 2011, seven states received more than $249 million in Early Innovator grants; and to date, 34 states and the District of Columbia have received more than $856 million in Establishment grants.

    States can apply for Exchange grants through the end of 2014, and these funds are available for states to use beyond 2014 as they continue to establish Exchange functionality. This ensures that states have the support and time necessary to build the best Exchange for their residents.

    To see a detailed state-by-state breakdown of grant awards and what each state plans to do with its Exchange funding, visit our new map tool on HealthCare.gov – http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/2011/05/exchanges05232011a.html

  • New guidance for states: Today’s guidance includes an Exchange Blueprint states may use to demonstrate how their Affordable Insurance Exchange will work to offer a wide range of competitively priced private health insurance options. The Blueprint also sets forth the application process for states seeking to enter into a Partnership Exchange. If a state chooses to operate its own Exchange or a Partnership Exchange, HHS will review and potentially approve or conditionally approve the Exchange no later than Jan. 1, 2013, so it can begin offering coverage on Jan. 1, 2014.  To see the state Exchange Blueprint, visit http://cciio.cms.gov/resources/other/index.html#hie
  • Exchanges in every state: Consumers in every state will have access to coverage through an Affordable Insurance Exchange on Jan. 1, 2014. If a state decides not to operate an Exchange for its residents, HHS will operate a Federally-facilitated Exchange (FFE). This guidance describes how HHS will consult with a variety of stakeholders to implement an FFE, where necessary, how states can partner with HHS to implement selected functions in an FFE, and key policies organized by Exchange function. To see the guidance on the FFEs, visit http://cciio.cms.gov/resources/regulations/index.html#hie

The Department will conduct implementation forums in the coming months to work with states and stakeholders on their questions and the work to be done in building Exchanges. The Department will also engage in consultation with Tribes, Tribal Governments, and Tribal Organizations on how Exchanges can serve their populations.

For more information on these implementation forums, visit http://cciio.cms.gov/resources/factsheets/index.html#hie

For more information on Exchanges, including fact sheets, visit http://www.healthcare.gov/exchanges.

_____________

This Announcement is provided as a public service by HelpingYouCare™.

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