On August 12, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded a total of over $185 million to 13 states and the District of Columbia in Exchange Establishment grants. States can use the Exchange Establishment grants to develop their Insurance Exchanges and Small Business Health Options Program (“SHOP”) through activities such as conducting background research, consulting with stakeholders, making necessary legislative and regulatory changes, establishing information technology (“IT”) systems, performing oversight, and ensuring program integrity. States may apply for single (Level One) or multi-year (Level Two) funding through the Exchange Establishment grant process depending on their progress in establishing Exchanges. All awards in this cycle were single-year grants.
HHS previously distributed Exchange Establishment grants to three states in May 2011. Additionally, 49 states and the District of Columbia received Exchange Planning grants in March 2011 to conduct studies on the feasibility of Exchanges and to hold community forums on how Exchanges should be established. Six states and one multi-state consortium (led by the University of Massachusetts Medical School) received Early Innovator grants to develop model Exchange IT systems.
Additional opportunities to apply for Exchange Establishment grants will be available through June 2012. Future applications for grants will be accepted quarterly, with the last deadline on June 29, 2012. Awards will be made approximately 45 days after the application due date.