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May 2011 St@teside

First Round of Exchange Establishment Grants Awarded

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded the first round of  level one Exchange Establishment Grants on May 23, 2011. Three states – Indiana, Rhode Island, and Washington – were the recipients of significant funding to support their ongoing work in building health insurance exchanges.

Indiana’s $6.9 million grant will allow the state to update their information technology systems and provide project management; legal, actuarial, and financial expertise; and general policy support.

Rhode Island’s $5.2 million grant will be used to hire initial exchange staff and develop detailed purchasing specifications for information technology, consumer assistance, and business operations services.1

Washington was awarded a $23 million grant to develop an information technology system that facilitates critical exchange functions, such as eligibility, enrollment, and information transfers among individuals, employers, insurance carriers, and state and federal government agencies.2

The Exchange Establishment Grants are a flexible grant funding mechanism designed to meet states’ needs at different points in the planning process. States select the appropriate time to apply and have multiple opportunities to do so. Level one grants provide up to one year of funding to states that have made some progress under their exchange planning grants.  States may plan to reapply for a second year of funding under the level one establishment grants if necessary to meet the criteria to apply for level two establishment grants. Applications for grants will be accepted quarterly. The next deadline is June 30, 2011, and the last deadline is June 29, 2012.