CMS: $20 million in American Rescue Plan funds available

The funds are to be used to improve access to state-based marketplace coverage.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) says there is $20 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds meant to support state-based marketplaces.

According to a news release, the funds are meant to help these marketplaces improve access to affordable, comprehensive health insurance for residents in their state. States who receive the funding can use it to help modernize or update their systems, programs, or technology to comply with federal requirements, including those included in the 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 says in the release. “This funding available to states will help them to provide consumers with swift eligibility determinations and enrollment into comprehensive health care plans. We applaud State-based Marketplaces – many of which have provided opportunities for special enrollment periods during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency – for their hard work.”

The release says up to 21 cooperative agreement grants can be awarded to currently approved marketplaces that meet the application requirements, including using HealthCare.gov for eligibility and enrollment. Applications are due July 20.

The funding announcement comes as the agency has touted almost 10 million Americans enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) between February 2020 and the end of January 2021. This brings the total number of people enrolled in and receiving benefits to more than 80.5 million across the 50 states and the District of Columbia by the end of January 2021. About 50 percent of this total, 38.3 million were children enrolled in the programs.