New York Receives $186 Million Federal Grant to Create Health Benefit Exchange

New York Receives $186 Million Federal Grant to Create Health Benefit Exchange

By Cara Matthews Journal News February 04, 2013

New York recently received a $185.8 million federal grantto create the state’s Health Benefit Exchange, an online marketplace where New Yorkers will go to find affordable health-insurance coverage.

The Affordable Care Actrequires each state to have an exchange in place, either by creating one of by having the federal government do it.

New York was one of five states to receive aLevel Two Exchange Establishment grantfrom the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The funding will be used to develop a modern information-technology system that allows people to enroll online; create a customer service center that helps individuals and small businesses choose insurance; train and deploy a statewide network of in-person assisters; cover staffing resources to plan and implement the exchange; create accounting, monitoring and evaluation systems to ensure accountability; and develop and launch an outreach campaign to help the state reach its enrollment goals.

“The creation of an easy-to-useHealth Exchangeis an important step to reduce the number of uninsured New Yorkers and make health insurance more affordable for individuals, families and small businesses,” Cuomo said in a statement today. “This latest grant is a reflection of New York’s leadership in creating an effective Exchange and will help us to build on the progress we have already achieved.”

Open enrollment inNew York’s Health Benefit Exchangestarts Oct. 1, and coverage kicks in Jan. 1, 2014. Open enrollment will run for six months. At full implementation, an estimated one million New Yorkers will obtain insurance through the system-615,000 individuals and 450,000 small business employees.

All told, New York has received nearly $370 million in federal funds to create the exchange, Cuomo said. The Department of Health and Human Services granted New York conditional approval Dec. 14 to run an exchange.