Obama Administration Grants Waivers, Exchange Innovation Awards

The Obama administration Wednesday granted waivers to four states to allow health insurance companies located within them to continue offering less generous health benefits. Meanwhile, $241 million in grants were awarded to help states set up online shopping systems for the purchase of health insurance.

The New York Times: Four States Get Waivers To Carry Out Health Law
The Obama administration said Wednesday that it had granted broad waivers to four states allowing health insurance companies to continue offering less generous benefits than they would otherwise be required to provide this year under the new federal health care law (Pear, 2/16).

Los Angeles Times: 7 States Get Grants To Develop Online Shopping Systems For Health Insurance
The Obama administration awarded $241 million in grants to seven states to develop new Internet-based systems that would let many Americans shop for health insurance online. These so-called exchanges, a key foundation of the health overhaul that President Obama signed last March, are intended to make buying a health plan comparable to shopping the Internet for an airline ticket or a hotel room (Levey, 2/17).

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