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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.


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