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More Funding Released for Insurance Exchanges

INPUT Analyst Kate Tussey reports.

In the world of health care, it seems federal funding is ever flowing. Yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a round of health insurance exchange establishment grants to Indiana, Rhode Island, and Washington state, totaling an estimated $35 million. Washington state is receiving $23 million, which will bolster its localized approach to health care reform. Indiana, receiving $6.9 million, has already contracted with Deloitte to help define and develop exchange business requirements, and First Data Government Solutions to conduct eligibility determination system planning services. Indiana still has some kinks to work out; however, the Indiana Senate and House passed Senate Bill 461, which reads a “state agency may not implement or prepare to implement the federal health care act,” and may not adopt regulations unless authorized by state law. It is important to note that an agency may not apply for or accept a grant related to the Affordable Care Act unless it is reviewed and recommended by the legislative council. Last but not least, Rhode Island received $5.2 million to strengthen health IT systems, develop an integrated consumer support program, and strengthen business operations. As part of exchange planning, Rhode Island will look to procure a benefit exchange Web portal and reporting system.

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