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HHS Announces More Assistance to States

Publish Date: 2/29/2012

On February 22, 2012, United States Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the implementation of three new provisions of the Affordable Care Act which are intended to provide more assistance to the states as they improve their Medicaid programs and insurance markets.

The first new provision is an award of $229 million in Affordable Insurance Exchange grants to 10 states including Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee to help them create Affordable Insurance Exchanges where consumers can choose a private health plan. This brings the total number of health insurance exchange awards to 34.

The second provision ensures transparency and public input at each stage of the development and review process of state-created experimental, pilot or demonstration projects or Medicaid programs. The Affordable Care Act gives states the option to receive a State Innovation Waiver so they can pursue their own strategies to provide residents with health insurance. The last provision details how states can work with HHS to ensure residents have the protections provided in the Affordable Care Act which will provide more flexibility to states to find the health care solutions that work best for them.

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