The Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to ambitious states that can be the first to produce consumer-friendly technology for health care exchanges.

Representing new competitive insurance marketplaces, the exchanges are expected to help Americans and small businesses buy affordable private health insurance in 2014, thus, the need for a strong IT infrastructure. States that develop IT systems will receive funding, and these systems can used as models by all states as they establish exchanges.

In 2014, exchanges will help individuals and small employers find, choose, and enroll in competitively priced private health plans. While exchanges are not planned to start until 2014, design and implementation preparation has begun nationwide. In fact, states have asked for early funding assistance to develop the IT infrastructure, especially regarding eligibility and enrollment systems.

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