The CMS was apparently not done last week in doling out end-of-year grants to states for enrollment efforts. The federal agency Monday announced another $88 million in disbursements to six states.
The largest grant is going to Idaho, which will receive roughly $36 million to enhance its online marketplace. Idaho relied on HealthCare.gov for enrollments during the first signup period, but is handling its own plan applications for 2015. Roughly 74,000 Idahoans had signed up for coverage through the exchange as of last week, although it's unclear how many of those are returning customers.
The second largest grant was awarded to Washington state, which will receive $27 million to “further establish functionality of its website.” Roughly 55,000 low-income households had enrolled in coverage through the state's exchange as of Dec. 10. Of those, just over 10,000 were new customers.
Perhaps the most surprising grantee is Illinois, which was awarded roughly $10 million. That's because Illinois doesn't have a state-based exchange and doesn't have plans to establish its own online marketplace anytime soon. An effort to pass legislation establishing a state-based exchange failed to come up for a vote before the state Legislature adjourned earlier this month. The grant to Illinois will be utilized to pay for enrollment outreach efforts.
The other grantees, which were first reported by Politico: Maryland ($7,947,711), Massachusetts ($3,289,882) and Vermont ($4,078,800). Last week the CMS announced roughly $187 million in grants to five states.
According to the CMS, this is the final round of grants.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires that state-based exchanges be “self-sustaining” as of Jan. 1, 2015. But many states will continue to rely on federal grant dollars to pay for exchange operations next year.
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