When you look at how the money can be used, it says it right there, go to the IT folks first otherwise none of the rest will work. You need all the algorithms to analyze and come up with game plans before you do you anything, so hopefully each state will figure out best where to use the money.
Hopefully each state has Insurance Commissioners too that realize this and are not just there to make public statements which get nowhere. You can read every detail for each state here. The money will definitely buy some infrastructure but may not be enough to fully
I think I was off a bit when I said HHS directors were going to be consumed with about 70% Health IT delegations and decisions – it’s more like 80% now or more!
HHS to Work With State Governors on Health Insurance Exchanges– Algorithms Beyond Comprehension And Functionality?
“States have proposed to use this funding in a variety of ways.
- Additional Legislative Authority: 15 States and the District of Columbia will pursue additional legislative authority to create a more robust program for reviewing or requiring advanced approval of proposed health insurance premium increases to ensure that they are reasonable;
- Expand the Scope of Health Insurance Premium Review: 21 States and the District of Columbia will expand the scope of their current health insurance review, for example by reviewing and requiring pre-approval of rate increases for additional health insurance products in their State.
- Improve the Health Insurance Premium Review Process: All 46 State grantees will require insurance companies to report more extensive information through a new, standardized process to better evaluate proposed premium increases and increase transparency across the marketplace;
- Make More Information Publicly Available: 42 States and the District of Columbia will increase the transparency of the health insurance premium review process and provide easy-to-understand, consumer friendly information to the public about changes to their premiums; and
- Develop and Upgrade Technology: All State grantees will develop and upgrade existing technology to streamline data sharing and put information in the hands of consumers more quickly.”
45 States and the District of Columbia to Receive $1 Million Each to Make Health Insurance Markets More Consumer-Friendly and Transparent
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced grant awards of $46 million to 45 States and the District of Columbia. These Affordable Care Act grants will be used to help improve the oversight of proposed health insurance premium increases, take action against insurers seeking unreasonable rate hikes, and ensure consumers receive value for their premium dollars.
For too long, insurance companies in many States have increased health insurance premiums with little oversight, transparency, or public accountability. Health insurance premiums have doubled on average during the last 10 years, much faster than wages and inflation, putting health coverage out of reach for millions of Americans and business owners. Today, just 26 States and the District of Columbia have the authority to reject a proposed increase that is excessive, lacks justification or otherwise exceeds State standards. Many States that have the authority lack resources to exercise it meaningfully. This lack of authority and resources for States has unfortunately contributed to unjustified premium increases in some States.
“The Affordable Care Act puts in place critical market reforms to improve quality and reduce the cost of health care for employers and individuals. Increased competition, lower insurance overhead, and better risk pooling in health insurance Exchanges in 2014 are expected to reduce premiums in the individual market by anywhere from 14-20 percent according to the Congressional Budget Office,” said Secretary Sebelius. “Between now and then, we will continue to work with States to ensure consumers are receiving value for their premium dollars and to avoid the kind of double digit premium increases seen recently. The State proposals approved today demonstrate the need and desire for new resources and tools to help them protect against unjustifiable premium increases.”