HHS Announces $51M in Grants To Boost State Oversight of Insurers
On Monday, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that HHS would make $51 million in grants available this year for states to bolster their insurance industry oversight, Bloomberg/BusinessWeek reports (Nussbaum, Bloomberg/BusinessWeek, 6/7).
The move comes as policymakers increasingly are turning their attention to health insurance rate hikes. Earlier this year, Anthem Blue Cross announced plans to raise premiums by as much as 39% for individual policyholders in California (AP/Washington Examiner, 6/7).
Grant Program Details
The grant program will provide a total of $250 million over five years to "help put affordable coverage back within the reach of Americans who have been hit hard by skyrocketing costs," Sebelius said.
The maximum grant amount is $1 million. To receive the funds, states must present a "meaningful plan" to use the funds and conduct comprehensive rate reviews.States are not required to perform a specific type of review to qualify for the grant. However, states can use the money to hire additional actuaries, improve their information technology or require more data to validate rate hikes (Reichard, CQ HealthBeat, 6/7). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.