The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded grants totaling $30 million to 35 states, four territories and the District of Columbia to fund consumer assistance programs authorized under the Accountable Care Act.

The grants are designed to support consumer understanding of their benefit options and to fight insurer abuses. State programs include multiple uses of information technology, such as expansion of data collection and reporting to identify marketplace problems, new Web sites for consumers to file complaints and appeals, implementation of encryption software, and improved capability to receive and track consumer phone calls.

Other state initiatives being funded cover increases in case managers, outreach coordinators and data analysts; handling of appeals on behalf of consumers, conducting town hall meetings, and creating public service announcements. More information is available here.

--Joseph Goedert


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