HHS Awards 'Early Innovator' Grants for Insurance Exchanges

TOPIC ALERT:

On Wednesday, HHS announced awards totaling $241 million for six states and a group of states to design and adopt the infrastructure needed to run health insurance exchanges, Modern Healthcare reports (Zigmond, Modern Healthcare, 2/16).

Background

The awards were announced under the agency's "Early Innovators" initiative, in which states are selected to serve as models for the design and implementation of the IT infrastructure that runs state insurance exchanges under the federal health reform law (iHealthBeat, 11/1/10).

'Early Innovators' Recipients

Award recipients are:

  • Kansas;
  • Maryland;
  • New York;
  • Oklahoma;
  • Oregon;
  • Wisconsin; and
  • A consortium of New England states led by the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

The funding primarily will be used to build existing frameworks already in place in each state. Most of the states plan to work with health departments and agencies to reduce administrative costs and give consumers easy access to health insurance information (Anderson, Healthcare IT News, 2/16).

Sharing of Ideas

According to HHS, the recipients of Early Innovators grants will share models that can be "adopted and tailored" by other states (Pecquet, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 2/16).

A list of how grant recipients will use the funding is available on the HealthCare.gov website.

Additional Coverage

Headlines and links to additional coverage of the HHS Early Innovators grants are provided below.


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