State-based Marketplaces Receive Grant Funding to Modernize and Improve Consumer Experience
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is awarding $20 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) grant funding to State-based Marketplaces (SBMs) to increase consumer access to affordable, comprehensive health insurance coverage. The grants will be used by 21 SBMs to modernize IT systems and/or conduct targeted consumer outreach activities to help make health care coverage enrollment smoother. As a result, consumers will have access to increased financial assistance and eligibility determinations will be made faster.
"It should be easy and convenient for anyone to sign up for a health care plan," said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. "This investment from the American Rescue Plan will help states cover more uninsured residents while providing a smooth transition to other sources of health coverage for Medicaid enrollees who may lose coverage. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to ensuring access to health care for everyone is possible, and will continue to make improvements in the system."
The grant funding issued today not only helps states provide swifter eligibility and enrollment processes for new consumers purchasing Marketplace coverage, but also helps states to reassess current enrollees' eligibility for increased savings made available through the ARP. The ARP reduced health coverage costs for consumers with many consumers finding plans for $10 or less per month. As a result of the ARP, most consumers purchasing Marketplace coverage are now eligible for increased Advance Payments of the Premium Tax Credit (APTC) that reduce their portion of monthly premiums.
"When we improve access to quality, affordable health coverage – people sign up. With these American Rescue Plan funds, we are investing in increasing consumer education and awareness about the greater financial assistance now available," said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. "Producing consumer notices in additional languages and targeting outreach to the underinsured and uninsured are just a few approaches states will use to connect members of these communities, particularly vulnerable and underserved populations, to affordable health coverage."
The 21 SBMs that received the ARP grant funding include the District of Columbia and the following states: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington. States with a Federally-Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) were not eligible for this funding opportunity. Grant award amounts range from $500,000 to $1,107,392, and are based on the SBM model and number of successful applicants. The period of performance is from September 10, 2021 through September 9, 2022.
For more information on the 21 SBMs that received the funding and use of the funds, please visit: https://www.cms.gov/cciio/resources/funding-opportunities#Health Insurance Marketplaces.