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By Kendra Ablaza, Staff Writer
January 18, 2013 - The Golden State recently received a more than $673 million federal grant to support its health benefits exchange as mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Under the ACA, 11 states received $1.5 billion in grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday. Those states include California, Delaware, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon and Vermont.
The ACA aims to provide affordable insurance exchanges to individuals and small businesses. Both groups have access to their state’s exchange marketplaces beginning in 2014 to promote insurance provider competition and offer more choices.
“Starting in 2014, Americans in all states will have access to quality, affordable health insurance and these grants are helping to make that a reality,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a prepared statement.
States have three options in establishing their insurance exchanges: they may operate their own; partner with the federal government; or have an exchange that is federally facilitated. California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York and Oregon opted to operate their own exchanges.