The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a total of $109 million in grants to 28 states and the District of Columbia to increase resources for conducting health insurance premium rate reviews.

Nearly all the awarded states, as well as D.C., plan to use some of the grant money for new or improved rate reporting information systems and data analysis of rate filings.

The grants are funded under the Affordable Care Act and designed to help states fight what they perceive to be higher-than-justified premium increases. HHS previously awarded $48 million to 42 states, D.C., and five territories. That leaves $93 million in available funding from $250 million authorized in the reform law.

In addition to I.T. initiatives, states are using funds to introduce legislation to strengthen state authority to oversee rate increases, expand the scope of reviews, enhance rate filing requirements, build consumer-oriented Web pages explaining rates and enabling public comment, and hire additional staff. More information is available here.

Joseph Goedert writes for Health Data Management, a SourceMedia publication.

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