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New York State to Use Federal Grant for IT Needed in Health Insurance Exchange

Source: Business Review

Posted on 21 Feb 2011

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The New York State Health Department will use a $27 million federal grant to build the information technology needed to eventually operate a state insurance exchange.

The state was one of seven “Early Innovators” chosen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to receive a total of $241 million in grant money. The others were in Kansas, Maryland, Oklahoma, Oregon, Wisconsin and Massachusetts.

Under the health care reform act, all states must have in place by 2014 health insurance exchanges where individuals and small businesses may shop for coverage.

Jeffrey Hammond, a spokesman for the Health Department, said the grant will “go a long way” toward developing the technology necessary to implement the New York exchange.

He said the grant is “entirely federally funded,” meaning no state match is needed.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the seven chosen states have committed to developing technology that is “reusable and transferable,” providing models for other states to follow.

“Early Innovator states will play a critical role in developing a consumer-friendly marketplace where insurers must compete to deliver the best deal,” she said. “These grants ensure that consumers in every state will be able to easily navigate their way through health insurance options.”