Several provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are aimed at putting health insurance within reach for all Americans.
Most recently, the Department of Health and Human Services announced $51 million to be used for Health Insurance Premium Review Grants. All states and the District of Columbia are eligible to apply for this money, which must be used to introduce or enhance health insurance rate regulations, according to a release from the HHS.
A $1 million grant will be given to states with strong applications.
"This is an important step in putting consumers back in control of their health care," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. "These new grants will help states protect consumers and small employers by holding insurers accountable for unreasonable insurance rate increases that have made coverage unaffordable for many American families."
Earlier this year, Sebelius spoke with state insurance commissioners and governors to ensure they were prepared to implement rate regulations. This first wave of grants is among the $250 million that will be given to states in the upcoming five years to improve health insurance oversight.