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County loses bid for Health Exchange call center

State receives $673 million to move forward with health care law

POSTED January 18, 2013 10:01 p.m.

As the state received news of a $673 million grant to help implement the new health care law, Stanislaus County was handed a bill of no sale.

The county lost its bid to host a Local Health Benefit Exchange Call Center Site that was expected to bring 300 jobs to the county.

"I'm saddened, yet fully supportive of the decision," said County Supervisor Vito Chiesa on Friday. "We'll be better prepared when something like this comes up again."

Contra Costa County in the Bay Area was awarded the contract by the California Health Benefit Exchange.

The State of California expects to operate three Health Benefit Exchange Call Centers in California – one in Sacramento, a state-run center somewhere else, and one “hybrid” county-run facility.

The sites would support the eligibility and enrollment aspects of Affordable Care Act programs, assisting uninsured Californians to purchase affordable healthcare. Most Americans will be required to purchase health insurance starting in 2014, under the terms of the ACA.

The federal government awarded $1.5 billion in new Exchange Establishment Grants to California, Delaware, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, and Vermont to implement new health insurance "marketplaces" as part of the ACA.

 The California Health Benefits Exchange was awarded more than $673 million.

“These states are working to implement the health care law and we continue to support them as they build new affordable insurance marketplaces,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Delaware, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Vermont received awards for Level One Exchange Establishment Grants, which are one-year grants states will use to build marketplaces.  California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, and Oregon received Level Two Exchange Establishment Grants. Level Two grants are multi-year awards to states to further develop their marketplaces.

A total of 49 states, the District of Columbia, and four territories have received grants to plan their marketplaces, and 34 states and the District of Columbia have received grants to build their marketplaces.  To ensure states have the support and time they need to build a marketplace, states may apply for grants through the end of 2014 and may use funds through their start-up year.

For more information on the Health Insurance Marketplace, visit: http://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace.

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