The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded $8.6 million in funding to 30 states and the District of Columbia to provide State insurance regulators with the opportunity to enhance States’ ability to strengthen their respective health insurance markets through innovative measures that support market reforms and consumer protections under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). States can use the funds for activities such as:
- Conducting economic analyses and market scans of the State’s health insurance market to improve and expand the number of affordable healthcare coverage options under new flexibilities offered to states by CMS guidance and regulations; and
- Examining plan policies, procedures and claims related data related to access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment services, including opioid treatment services.
“These grants build on CMS’s ongoing efforts to give states the tools and flexibility they need to help people struggling to afford the year over year premium increases caused by Obamacare regulations,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “We recognize that States are in the best position to assess the needs of their consumers and develop innovative measures to ensure access to affordable health coverage. These grants make yet another down payment on our work to enhance States’ ability to stabilize and improve their respective health insurance markets.”
This funding is part of $250 million for State Rate Review Grants provided by the PPACA to improve the process for how States review proposed health insurance rates. The funds announced today are unspent Rate Review Grant funding from prior years that are available to the Secretary to award grants to States for planning and implementing federal insurance reforms and consumer protections. Since some states either did not request funding from CMS or completed their Rate Review Grant project under budget, funds were returned. In October 2016, CMS used unspent funds from the Rate Review Grants to award the Health Insurance Enforcement and Consumer Protections Grants. Additional funding still remains and CMS is in a position to award funds for this new grant that provides States with resources to support the establishment of innovative measures to improve their markets. The grants awarded today will have a project and budget period of 24 months from the award date, August 20, 2018, to August 19, 2020. All states that applied are receiving funding.
To see the funding allocated to each state, please click here: https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Programs-and-Initiatives/Health-Insurance-Market-Reforms/Downloads/state-flexibility-grant-fact-sheet.pdf