HHS will award $11.7 million to 30 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands for them to develop plans to provide affordable health insurance for uninsured residents, the department announced Wednesday.
Seven states--Florida, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Virginia--and the District of Columbia will receive one-year grants totaling nearly $7.4 million under HHS's State Planning Grants program.
In addition, 23 states and the Virgin Islands will receive supplemental grants totaling $4.3 million to support ongoing efforts to expand insurance coverage, the release adds. The 23 states are Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
The release says the grants will be administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration in HHS and its Office of Special Programs.
Under the programs, grantees first will conduct studies to identify uninsured residents and why they are uninsured, HHS says. States then will use the information to determine "the most effective ways to provide high quality, affordable health insurance," using plans offered to government employees or other benchmark health plans as a model, HHS says.
"With more than 40 million Americans lacking health insurance, we are pursuing a wide range of initiatives to expand coverage," HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson says in the release.
Click here to see a list of recipients and their awards.