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Pa. Insurance Dept. gets $33M for health insurance exchange

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recently awarded the Pennsylvania Insurance Department more than $33 million to establish a state-run health insurance exchange.

Pennsylvania was one of 10 states to receive funds for the level one establishment grant cycle, according to HHS.

The state will use the money to complete development and design of the exchange, HHS said. It also will begin to build infrastructure technology for its software, financial management and business operations in relation to the exchange, according to HHS.

The department plans to have the exchange functioning by February 2013, according to the grant application. Its exchange system will leverage existing state resources and promote the development of public-private partnerships, the department has said.

Health insurance exchanges are mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed by President Barack Obama in March 2010. The exchanges must be in effect by Jan. 1, 2014, according to the law. States can design their own exchanges or default to a federal system. In November, Gov. Tom Corbett approved the development of a Pennsylvania-based health insurance exchange.

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