Many state insurance exchanges to benefit from more grant funds to expand their capabilities.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have just released the latest information regarding funding for the health care reform, which shows that several states will be receiving over $765 million in total grant money.
These funds are intended to boost the state health insurance exchanges on the IT level.
The states that will be receiving the grants will include Connecticut, California, New York, Hawaii, Vermont, Maryland, and Iowa. This money will provide the states will the additional flexibility and resources that they require to make a solid investment in technology skills and services that will be vital to the establishment of the online insurance exchanges. These marketplaces must be fully operational by January 1, 2014.
This is on top of the over $1 billion the federal government has already paid for health care reform.
These funds have been granted to the states for the development of the insurance exchanges as a whole. This effort has, after all, presented quite a complex technological challenge, as the online marketplaces use both federal and state agencies, as well as health plans, employers, and consumers, to aggregate data. This, according to the health care reforms research analyst firm for the IDC’s program director, Janice Young.
Young explained that “Building state insurance exchanges is one of the most significant new initiatives in healthcare insurance in recent decades. Exchanges support entirely new programs, processes, customers, information and data, much of which has yet to be clarified.”
She went on to say that the issues regarding integration cannot be underestimated, as there is a significant amount of information – such as financial data and eligibility – which must be available in order to allow employers and individuals to accurately participate within the programs available to them.
A number of states have already submitted their blueprints for the ways in which they intend to use their health care reforms grant money in order to improve their capabilities on a technological level. For instance, Iowa will be using the $27 million grant in order to obtain data from focus groups and for stakeholder outreach in terms of the design of the interface and the development of the program, as well as for the ongoing development and planning of an automated, integrated eligibility system.