Health Insurance Programs in 13 States Get Federal Grants

Sebelius announces health insurance grants
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Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced that 13 states are the recipients of $70.9 million in grants. The monies are to be used to support the expansion of health insurance coverage for the uninsured populations in the awarded states.

The thirteen states - Colorado, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin - must make a 20 percent match of their grant monies unless doing so places them in financial hardship. Each state must also show that it can continue whatever health insurance program or initiative the grant has funded after federal monies end.

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The grants were awarded through a competitive process (any state can apply for the grants) and are funded under the State Health Access Program (SHAP). This Program was authorized by the Omnibus Appropriations Act PL 111-8, which President Obama signed on March 11, 2009. It is an outgrowth of the HHS’s State Planning Grant program, which helped many states develop innovative programs that increased health insurance coverage for uninsured residents.

The grants will be made over a five-year period. Each state must submit an annual report to the HHS Secretary that explains the state’s use of the funds and how it is meeting its project goals. States may use the funds in a variety of ways, such as subsidizing high-risk health insurance pools, providing health insurance premium assistance, developing affordable benefit packages for small employers and part-time and seasonal workers, or providing computer systems to assist with administration of its health insurance coverage.

For more information about the SHAP grants for expansion of health insurance coverage and the amounts awarded to each state, you can visit the HHS website .

SOURCES:
Health and Human Services press release
Health Resources and Services Administration website

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