I wrote earlier this week on some of the grants that Arkansas has and has not received regarding setting up state health insurance exchanges as part of the implementation of ObamaCare. Some indicated to me this information needed further clarification, so I communicated via e-mail with Alice Jones with the Arkansas Insurance Commission.
"To date, Arkansas has requested and received one Exchange Planning grant. It is for $1 million. Arkansas did not apply for an Early Innovator Grant– which is the one Kansas recently returned. The Early Innovator Grants were awarded to six or seven states to help in early design work for Exchange solutions," said Jones.
She also said that they will soon be applying with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a Level One Establishment Grant, which is offered to states that were awarded earlier Exchange Planning Grant funds that have met planning objectives. Jones was unsure of the amount of this grant, but said it will be used for "continued planning."
The grant will also require an appropriation for the legislature in order to spend the funds, meaing it has to get the green light from 75% of state legislators in both chambers. If you recall, this was a major hold-up towards the end of the previous legislative session.
My colleague, Roby Brock, also wrote on this subject in late June. You can read his report here.