Sebelius said states are using the latest round of grants to improve filing requirements, transparency, and consumer interface, hire new staff, improve IT, expand the scope of review, and introduce legislation to strengthen oversight.
Another provision of ACA requires health insurers to spend at least 80% of premium dollars on healthcare and quality-improvement activities as opposed to overhead, advertising, and executive bonuses. If they don't they must reduce premiums or pay rebates to consumers and employers.
ACA also makes small businesses eligible for federal tax credits of up to 35% of the cost of coverage for their workers. That amount rises to 50% in 2014. Also in 2014, insurance exchanges created by ACA supposedly will use competition and transparency, including information on unjustified premium increases, to help make insurance more affordable, HHS said.