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States receive funding to establish health insurance exchanges

Posted On Thu, September 30, 2010

A large number of Americans are uninsured because they can't afford health insurance premiums, but make too much to qualify for government-funded programs.

In fact, recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau found that more than 50 million Americans were uninsured last year.

Under the Affordable Care Act, each state will be required to have a health insurance exchange where consumers can get competitive rates on health insurance plans. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is giving 48 states and the District of Columbia up to $1 million each to establish the marketplaces by 2014.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says the exchanges will bring more power to consumers.

"That's why the Affordable Care Act helps states create exchanges, so individuals and small businesses can band together, have the same purchasing power as those big employers, and get a fairer deal when it comes to their health care," Sebelius says.

In the meantime, those without health insurance should see if they meet special requirements to obtain federally funded health insurance programs so they don't go without coverage.

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