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HHS awards exchange establishment grants

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded two types of “exchange establishment grants” today.

HHS presented multi-year “Level Two” grants to five states that need cash to expand exchange efforts that HHS believes to already be fairly far along.

The Level Two grant recipients are California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York and Oregon.

HHS also has presented 1-year “Level One” grants to six other states — Delaware, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina and Vermont.

States can use the Level One grants on the early stages of exchange construction.

The grants awarded today have a total value of about $1.5 billion.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) calls for state and federal agencies to set up exchanges, or health insurance supermarkets, for individuals and small groups by Oct. 1, with the first coverage sold to take effect Jan. 1, 2014.

HHS has awarded exchange establishment grants to a total of 34 states and the District of Columbia, officials said.

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