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New Funding and Guidance for States to Improve IT Systems

Cooperative Agreements to Support Innovative Exchange Information Technology Systems

On October 29th, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced competitive funding opportunities for states to design and implement the information technology (IT) that will be critical in the successful operation of Health Insurance Exchanges beginning in 2014.

Up to five “early innovator” states that demonstrate leadership in developing cutting-edge and cost effective technologies will receive two-year grants to develop Exchange eligibility and enrollment IT models, which have universally essential components that can be adapted by other states.

The deadline for California to apply for this grant is December 22, 2010, and will be awarded by February 15 of next year.

Notice of Proposed Rules Making on Enhanced Funding for Medicaid

And on November 3rd, HHS announced two additional steps to help states provide seamless enrollment for consumers who either qualify for Medicaid or are shopping for insurance through the Exchanges.

The first is a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) which proposes that Medicaid eligibility determination IT systems be eligible for an enhanced Federal matching rate of 90 and 75 percent for development and maintenance respectively. The 90 percent match will be available until December 31, 2015 and the 75 percent match will be available beyond that date if states continue to meet certain criteria. This marks a significant increase from the current 50 percent match rate.

The second is a new IT guidance to help states design and implement the IT needed to simplify/streamline enrollment in the Exchanges, Medicaid and CHIP. This document will be updated, pending collaboration with states.

We will keep you updated on California’s efforts to pursue and implement these important funding and guidance opportunities.