$51 Million Available for Designing State Exchanges – Say Ahhh! A Children’s Health Policy Blog

HHS announced today that up to $1
million per state will be available in grants to begin establishing health
insurance exchanges. This first round of grants is designed to help
cash-strapped states conduct the research and planning necessary to build the
new marketplaces. Grant applications are available at:
http://www.healthcare.gov/center/grants and are due by September 1, 2010 (there
is a pre-application call scheduled for August 5th). Only states are eligible
to apply for the grants and no matching funds are required. 

In describing their planning activities in the grant
application, states must include information on how they will involve
stakeholders in the decision making process, as well as how they plan to build
on and integrate the exchange with existing public programs such as Medicaid
and CHIP. And in a nod to transparency, states must post information about
the planning grants on their websites.  

The administration also released a request for comments
on the standards and rules that Exchanges will be required to meet. The
administration is encouraging states, consumer advocates, employers, insurers,
and other interested stakeholders to provide input. To add your two-cents, go
to: http://www.healthcare.gov/center/regulations. Comments are due by October
4, 2010.

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