North Carolina says it also plans to invest in IT infrastructure, as does Minnesota. Nearly all of the Level One grants also went to states that have decided to partner with the federal government to run their health insurance exchanges. Only Minnesota and Vermont will set up state-run exchanges.
In contrast, all five states awarded Level Two Exchange Establishment grants, which last for more than a year, are setting up state-based exchanges. The amount awarded with Level Two grants is also much larger.
Just as the states receiving Level One grants, the Level Two states say they will use the money to increase consumer awareness and invest in infrastructure.
California officials say it will use its massive $673 million grant to accomplish nine goals for its exchange, 'Covered California,' which includes hiring an outside vendor to help small businesses choose a health insurance plan, and building a "multi-site customer service center."
Oregon's $226 million grant will go to similar efforts, though state officials were more specific about some of their plans on how its exchange will be run. For example, Oregon will run its own service call center, and advertise the exchange with materials that focus on visual images and "fewer words," to accommodate its plan to have promotional media translated into three or four languages.