HHS on Friday said it has awarded $185 million to 13 states and Washington, D.C., to help them establish state insurance exchanges.
HHS awards $185 million for insurance exchanges, releases proposed rules
The announcement came with news that HHS and the Treasury Department released three proposed rules for the exchanges outlined in the healthcare reform law. One rule relates to small employers participating in the Small Business Health Options Program, who will be able to offer employees a choice of health plans and also reduce costs with new tax credits. A second regulation calls for premium tax credits to help defray insurance costs for individuals and families, and the third proposed rule calls for coordinating the exchange with Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program eligibility to make enrollment more seamless, according to HHS.
“Today we're laying the foundation to provide tax incentives to help working families purchase health insurance,” Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said in a news release. “This new tax credit brings us a big step closer to achieving one of the signature goals of the Affordable Care Act—to provide tens of millions of Americans with access to affordable health insurance coverage.”
Meanwhile, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent a letter to state governors that highlights a partnership that will allow states to work with HHS as they establish exchanges, and also asks for comments on how that partnership can build on the flexibility that states have in a design that works for them.
The proposed rules will be published in the Federal Register on Aug. 17.
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