In 2014, individuals and employees of small businesses will have access to affordable coverage through a new competitive private health insurance market - the Health Insurance Marketplace, also known as the Affordable Insurance Exchange. The state-based Marketplace will provide individuals and small businesses with a "one-stop shop" to find and compare affordable, quality private health insurance options. The Marketplace will bring new transparency to the health insurance market so that Americans will be able to compare plans based on price, quality, benefits and other important features. By increasing competition between insurance companies and allowing individuals and small businesses to band together to purchase insurance, the Marketplace will help lower costs.
States across the country have received grants to establish a Affordable Insurance Exchange - Opens in a new window. Use the map below to learn more about establishment grants in your State:
The Exchange Establishment grants recognize that States are making progress toward establishing a Marketplace but are doing so at different paces. States can choose when to apply for grant funding based on their needs and planned expenditures. States that are moving ahead on a faster pace can apply for multi-year funding, known as level two establishment grants. States that are making progress in establishing a Marketplace through a step-by-step approach can apply for funding for each project year, known as level one establishment grants.
States may initially apply for either level one or level two establishment grants, based on their progress. State can also choose when during this year to apply for grant funding based on their needs and planned expenditures. States will have multiple opportunities to apply for funding in the years ahead, including opportunities to apply for multiple level one grants as the planning process develops. As indicated in a November 29, 2011 Question and Answer document, CMS intends to award establishment grants through 2014. This process gives States maximum flexibility and ensures that States can move forward on their own timetables as they work to build a Marketplace.
Each State's insurance market is unique, and each State will require different levels of support as it creates a Marketplace. Each State's grant awards were made following a thorough examination of funding requested by the State, and an analysis of what would be a reasonable funding amount from the federal government: