CMS Funding Improvements to State-Based Marketplace Coverage

Twenty states are eligible to receive CMS funding for their state-based exchanges

June 24, 2021 – CMS recently announced $20 million in funding to improve access to state-based marketplace coverage. The funds are available through the American Rescue Plan (ARP).

“Our State-based Marketplaces are the gateway to quality, affordable health care for millions of consumers and these investments will make it even easier to sign up for coverage,” CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure stated in the press release. “This funding available to states will help them to provide consumers with swift eligibility determinations and enrollment into comprehensive health care plans.”

States can apply for the additional funding to update or modernize their systems, technology, or programs in order to comply with federal Marketplace requirements. They can also use the funds for program policies and procedures required o implement federal requirements. This includes, but is not limited to, consumer education, consumer notifications, stakeholder education and training, call center support, state and federal reporting, and staff training.

Requirements for State-Based Marketplace Seeking Funds

Funds can only be awarded to currently-approved state-based Marketplaces that meet the application requirements. One such requirement is that the SBM uses HealthCare.gov for eligibility and enrollment of consumers. CMS recognizes the importance of states operating their exchanges on the federal health insurance marketplace, which is why that is a requirement.

Under this new funding opportunity, up to 21 cooperative agreement grants can be awarded to those with state-based marketplaces. According to the Notice of Funding Opportunity, 20 states, plus the District of Columbia are eligible for the funding. Each grant will be worth approximately $1.3 million.

“Applicable requirements include implementation of provisions of the ARPA, which increase financial assistance amounts available to certain taxpayers for Plan Years (PY) 2021 and 2022 who enroll in a qualified health plan through an Exchange,” the Notice of Funding Opportunity added.

The deadline to apply for a grant is July 20, 2021. Applicants can expect to hear back on the status of their state-based marketplace grant by September 2021.

To view the Notice of Funding Opportunity, visit https://www.grants.gov, and search for CFDA # 93.525

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