HHS TO FUND GRANTS FOR IT SYSTEMS
The systems will be used by prospective enrollees of state-level health insurance exchanges.
HHS will fund grants to five states or coalitions of states to produce IT systems that can be used by prospective enrollees of state-level health insurance exchanges, the agency announced. The exchanges are being established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Prospective enrollees of the exchanges will use the systems to compare information about insurance plans, determine their eligibility, enroll, and receive tax credits and premium assistance. The first round of grants will be announced in February. No specific funding amounts were announced. HHS is looking to the states to propose the grant amounts, although costeffectiveness will be considered in making the awards, said Joel Ario, deputy director of the Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at HHS. Enrollment in the exchanges won’t begin until 2014, but the federal initiative now should help the states in making preparations while avoiding duplication of work, according to Ario.