The Department of Health and Human Services has made available additional grant funding for states and territories to continuing planning activities for establishment of insurance exchanges, which are required under the Affordable Care Act.

HHS last July awarded $49 million to 48 states and the District of Columbia in an initial round of planning grants. The exchanges are intended to enable consumers in each state and territory easy access to comparative information about health insurance benefits offered by government and private insurers, and to purchase coverage.

Now additional funds of up to $1 million for each entity are available for initial planning activities for implementation of exchanges. States moving ahead on a faster pace, such as California--which in September enacted legislation to built its exchange--can apply for multi-year funding. More information is available at Search for CFDA number 93.525.

State insurance exchanges must be operational by 2014. The federal government will establish exchanges in any states that decline to do so.

--Joseph Goedert


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