The Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight was informed on Thursday, July 1st that a technical issue with the grants.gov operating system will cause certain complications in applying for the Health Insurance Premium Review Grants. The technical issue concerns an IT error in a mandatory form required for certain funding opportunity announcements, including the Health Insurance Premium Review program, which is causing the grants applicants to receive error messages upon transmission of their application.
As a result of the technological challenges with the Grants.gov website, the Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight will accept an emailed electronic copy of the applications from state applicants through the July 7th, deadline. Please send all the required application materials to Gladys Bohler at Gladys.Bohler@hhs.gov and Jacqueline Roche at Jacqueline.Roche@hhs.gov. If a state has already obtained a case number from Grants.gov, please also provide this case number when submitting your application directly to the Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight.
Questions regarding the modified application submission process:
Q1: Will the application deadline be extended as a result of the modified application process?
A1: No, the deadline is July 7th, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
Q2: How will we know if our application has been received by the Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight staff?
A2: The Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight will confirm that the application has been received as submitted within 24 hours, or the next business day.
Q3: What if a state has an ongoing issue with obtaining the Central Contractor Registry (CCR) number or the correct DUNS number?
A3: All applicants must have documentation that includes a case number from CCR or DUNS if delays are experienced in obtaining the required CCR or DUNS number.
General application questions:
Q4: Which application forms are required for the grant application (e.g. the 424 family of forms)?
A4: The required mandatory forms include (as outlined in the Funding Opportunity Announcement and other guidance posted on Grants.gov):
- The Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424);
- Project/Performance Site Location(s)
- Assurances – Non-Construction Programs (SF-424B);
- Project Abstract
- Project Narrative Attachment Form
- Objective Work Plan-an applicant is permitted to use the Grants.gov work plan or submit a work plan as an attachment to the application.
- Budget Narrative Attachment Form;
- Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL);
- List of Key Contacts; and
- The Attachments form (to submit required attachments and supplemental information.
Applicants should begin with the Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424 form), however application materials do not have to be submitted in the exact order outlined on page 26 of the Funding Opportunity Announcement.
Note: There is not a requirement under this grant program to provide forms beginning with “RR”. The correct family of forms is as listed above.
Q5: On the “Check-Off List” provided on pg. 26 there is no mention of the “Project/Performance Site Location(s)” form, however this form is provided in the Mandatory Forms Box on the Grants.gov Grant Application Package. Where does this form fit with the full package and the order of the forms to be submitted?
A5: The “Project/Performance Site Location(s)” form is required. Additionally, pg. 26 provides a recommended sequential order for submitting the required documents; the applicant can submit the “Project/Performance Site Locations(s) form along with the other Standard Forms (SF).
Q6: The link provided on pg. 9, 1. Cover Sheet and Standard Forms: V. Additional Assurances and Certifications: http://apply.grants.gov/forms/sample/SSA_AdditionalAssurances-V1.0.pdf is not operational, please clarify the required submissions regarding Additional Assurances.
A6: Regarding Additional Assurance Certifications, an applicant is only required to submit form SF 424B: Assurances-Non-Construction Programs (iii). The List of Key Contacts also outlined in section v. is also required.
Q7: On the Application Cover Sheet and Check-off list (pg 26) “Required Letter of Support and “Memorandum of Agreement” are both included as required. What is the “Memorandum of Agreement” requirement?
A7: A letter of support is required from the Governor. Applicants must also attest that grant funds will not be used to supplant existing rate review activities (maintenance of effort requirement, pg. 7). There is no requirement for a Memorandum of Agreement as outlined on pg. 26.
Q8: Please clarify the required Applicant’s Application Cover Letter and the Application Cover Sheet (Attachment C). Can they both be submitted as an attachment?
A8: An applicant must provide a cover letter including all the information outlined on page 10 per section 3. Applicant’s Application Cover Letter. The applicant can include the information provided on page 25 (application cover sheet) within the Application Cover Letter, or submit a separate Application Cover Sheet as outlined on page 25. Both options are acceptable and both documents can be submitted as an attachment.
Q9: To whom should the Application Cover Letter be addressed?
A9: The application cover letter may be addressed to the Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (OCIIO).
Q10: Is there a standardized form for the timeline?
A10: There is not a standardized form for the timeline. The timeline may be submitted as an attachment to the application.
Q11: How do we fill out the mandatory document “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities” if we do not have any lobbying activities to disclose?
A11: The Lobbying Form has yellow mandatory fields that require the applicants to enter data. If the applicant institution does not engage in Lobbying activities they can respond to the section Fields #4, #6, and #11 and respond with an N/A for Section Fields 10a & 10b.
Q12: Should the documents that are submitted as attachments to Grants.gov be in PDF or Word format?
A12: Grants.gov and the Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight will accept Word or PDF attachments. However, should an applicant submit an application and receive an error message regarding the attached documents the first troubleshooting response from OCIIO is to convert the Word attachment into a PDF attachment and then to resubmit the application. Note: Grants.gov requires each attached file to have a unique file name.
Q13: Can you describe the method by which funds will be disbursed to the States if a grant application is approved?
A13: Grant funds are disbursed on an ongoing basis to the state upon receipt and approval of a payment request. More detailed instructions for submitting payment requests and the process of approval will be provided in the award letter and the grant terms and conditions.