Making the Affordable Care Act ... Affordable

HHS Secretary Sebelius announces grants for states to implement Health Insurance Exchanges

(RxWiki News) Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced the aid of grants to help states implement Health Insurance Exchanges, a key provision of the Affordable Care Act.

The Health Insurance Exchanges, which will be operational in 2014, will serve as state-based insurance marketplaces providing subsidized health insurance for small businesses and individuals who don't have health coverage, or, as Sebelius put it, "a 'one-stop shop' to find and compare affordable, high-quality health insurance options."

The grants will help ensure that states will have the resources needed to set up the Health Insurance Exchanges and assist Americans when shopping for insurance. The Health Insurance Exchanges will, according to Sebelius, "bring new transparency to the market" so consumers can compare plans and premiums while offering citizens the same insurance choices members of Congress share.

The grants, which states will have multiple opportunities to apply for each year, can be used for background research on Health Insurance Exchanges, consulting with stakeholders, making legislative and regulatory changes, governing the Health Insurance Exchanges, establishing information technology systems, conducting financial management and performing oversight and ensuring program integrity.

Benefits and provisions from the Affordable Care Act began to take effect last summer and fall and at the beginning of this year. The public -- and Washington -- remain as divided on the measure as they had been since the legislation's passage, however. The House voted to repeal the Act this week, but the move will not likely advance to the Senate.

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Review Date: 
January 21, 2011