Feds Offer More Details, Money For Health Exchange Creation
The Department of Health and Human Services awarded $185 million in grants to 13 states. The government also clarified how states will be expected to determine who is eligible to participate in exchanges under the health law.
The Hill: HHS Awards $185M In Exchange Grants
Thirteen states will split $185 million in grants to help establish the insurance exchanges created by the health care reform law, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Friday. The grants are available to states that have taken some action to set up an exchange - not necessarily by passing a state law to create the new marketplace. The single largest establishment grant - more than $38 million - went to California, the first state to pass an exchange law (Baker, 8/12).
Reuters: Government Lays Out Health Insurance Exchange Details
The government on Friday laid out incentives for states and people to participate in health insurance exchanges, including tax credits and funding grants for the states. Health regulators also clarified how they expect states to determine who is eligible to join this program under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. The exchanges are envisioned as open marketplaces of competing insurance plans that allow uninsured people and small businesses to band together to negotiate cheaper rates (Selyukh and Yukhananov, 8/12).
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: New Monday And New Rules For The Exchanges
The Obama administration on Friday allotted $185 million to 13 states and the District of Columbia to help build new insurance exchanges and issued rules on how the new marketplaces will enroll individuals, provide subsidies to low- and middle-class Americans and interact with state Medicaid programs (Galewitz, 8/12).
The Baltimore Sun: Maryland Gets More Money For Health Reform As Law Faces Legal Setback
Even as the federal health care reform law appears to be headed to the Supreme Court after another legal setback Friday, Maryland received $27.2 million to move forward on implementing the law's insurance exchanges where consumers can shop for affordable health plans. The state said it will use the money to hire staff and set up electronic infrastructure for the exchanges - despite the decision by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta to strike down as unconstitutional a provision that requires Americans to buy health insurance or face a fine (Walker, 8/12).
CQ HealthBeat: Heavy Lifting Continues On Exchange Construction
It may be mid-August, but the heavy lifting continues at federal agencies to create a far-flung system of insurance exchanges. Obama administration officials on Friday outlined three new proposed regulations totaling more than 400 pages and awarded $185 million more in grants to states to build the insurance marketplaces. No fewer than eight administration officials got on a press call with reporters Friday morning to answer questions about the three regulations and influx of dollars pushing the states forward with their exchange development efforts. Tea party activists and Republican officials in some states have decried the creation of exchanges as cooperating with "Obamacare" (Reichard, 8/12).