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HHS Receives $1.5 billion to Encourage States to Build Health Insurance Marketplaces

January 22, 2013

California, Delaware, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon and Vermont have been recently granted with $1.5 billion by Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, to purchase any resources that are needed to build a sufficient healthcare marketplace for their residents.

The Affordable Care Act gives consumers and small businesses access to insurance marketplaces, a one-stop shops that will provide access to quality and affordable private health insurance choices similar to those offered to members of Congress by next year starting.

This law recommends that consumers get insurance from qualified health plans that are run directly through marketplaces, where they 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.

“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.”

Forty-nine States and the District of Columbia received up to $1 million in grants to help plan for their marketplaces. States may again go for grants through the end of 2014 to build marketplaces on time and use funds through their start-up year.

The Exchange Establishment grants recognize that States are making progress toward establishing grants, but are doing so at different paces. States can choose when to apply for grant funding based on their needs and planned expenditures.

States that are moving at a faster pace can apply for multi-year funding, known as level two establishment grants. States that are making progress in establishing grants through a step-by-step approach can apply for funding for each project year, known as level one establishment grants.

Edited by Ashley Caputo

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