HHS To Provide $51M for Efforts To Set Up Insurance Exchanges
On Thursday, HHS announced two moves for helping states create health insurance exchanges mandated by the new health reform law: offering $51 million in grants to states for setup purposes and requesting public comment on standards for successful exchanges, CQ HealthBeat reports.
According to HHS, each state and the District of Columbia are eligible for up to $1 million to create an exchange (Reichard, CQ HealthBeat, 7/29).
The agency said states can create their own exchanges or partner with others to manage regional exchanges. Grant applications are due by Sept. 1 (Lipowicz, Federal Computer Week, 7/29).
Although the exchanges do not take effect until 2014, analysts have said that states must immediately begin work on the exchanges.
According to Rick Curtis, president of the Institute for Health Policy Solutions, states that elect to run their own exchanges must design and establish policy for the exchanges and determine how the new market will work alongside other state agencies and the current insurance market. Curtis added that the HHS funding is imperative because in the current economic climate, most states would not have the necessary resources to make these initial plans.
Meanwhile, HHS also is soliciting comments from states, consumer advocates, employers, insurers and others on rules and standards that exchanges should be required to meet (CQ HealthBeat, 7/29).
The deadline for comments is Oct. 4, according to the agency (Mosquera, Government Health IT, 7/29).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.