HHS Gives 8 States New Set of Health Insurance Exchange Grants

Eight states will receive new grants from the Department of Health and Human Services to continue developing insurance exchanges, the department announced Thursday.

California, Hawaii, Iowa and New York received level one exchange establishment grants, which provide one year of funding to states that have started building their exchanges.

Connecticut, Maryland, Nevada and Vermont will get level two grants, which are awarded over multiple years and are set aside for states HHS says are further along in building their exchanges.

HHS also announced 34 states and the District of Columbia received establishment grants for building exchanges.

States can apply for grants until the end of 2014 and utilize funds during their first year of operation.

Consumers and small-businesses use the exchanges to determine eligibility for tax credits, cost-sharing discounts and other healthcare programs such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program, HHS said.

Small businesses can also receive tax credits for purchasing employee coverage with the exchanges, according to HHS.

The department recently announced its next steps for helping healthcare organizations implement electronic health records at healthcare organizations, including an information exchange scheduled for a 2014 deployment.

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