Maine will receive nearly $6 million as one of 13 states awarded federal funding to set up health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday, Nov. 29.
The state’s Dirigo Health Agency will use the $5,877,676 grant to design and build an infrastructure for the exchange, including the integration of existing Medicaid eligibility systems, according to a press release. The funds will also support gathering input from stakeholders such as insurance companies, consumer groups and others.
The funding is part of nearly $220 million awarded today to develop the exchanges, mandated by 2014 under the federal health care reform law. The exchanges are designed to provide individuals and small businesses with a “one-stop shop” to compare private health insurance options.
Maine officials are evaluating whether Dirigo Health will transition into the state’s new health insurance exchange or be dissolved.
In related news, four Maine organizations are receiving a total of nearly $500,000 to promote the interests of the uninsured and underserved as Maine implements the ACA. The Maine Health Access Foundation awarded the funds to the Consumers for Affordable Health Care Foundation, the Indian Township tribal government, Maine Equal Justice Partners and the Maine Medical Education Trust, according to a press release.
The funds will also support efforts involving the state’s new health insurance reform law and consultations between tribal nations and state government.