News & Perspectives

New federal grant opportunity to support state efforts to strengthen the private health insurance market

27. February 2018 Lisa Kaplan Howe Health

On February 5, 2018, the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) released a new Notice of Funding Opportunity to support states as they implement several of the market reforms and consumer protections under Title I of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This grant program is a follow-up to the Health Insurance Enforcement and Consumer Protections Grants funded in 2016. Specifically, the new grant program – known as the State Flexibility to Stabilize the Market Grant Program (“State Flexibility Grant Program”) – is intended to provide states with the opportunity to ensure their laws, regulations, and procedures align with federal requirements. Specifically, the State Flexibility Grant Program seeks to enhance states’ ability to regulate their markets relative to the following federal protections:

  • Guaranteed availability of coverage
  • Guaranteed renewability of coverage
  • Essential Health Benefits (EHB)


Funding under the State Flexibility Grants can be used for:

  • Implementing or enhancing policy form review
  • Developing procedures and/or tools to identify discriminatory benefit designs
  • Hiring or contracting with a clinician to review formularies
  • Developing actuarial or economic analyses
  • Performing market scans to ensure compliance and improve and expand coverage options
  • Reviewing the state’s EHB benchmark plan and considering new options
  • Other activities that fulfill grant requirements


Total funding available nationwide is $8.1 million and CCIIO will announce funding allocations based on letter of intent submissions by March 2, 2018. Mandatory letters of intent were due February 26, 2018 and grant applications are due on April 5, 2018. Grants will cover June 6, 2018 through June 5, 2020.

As states explore the opportunities of the State Flexibility Grant Program and begin to develop their grant applications, this recent PCG article offers insight into the suggested activities for grant applications and highlights some of the innovative activities taking place in states across the U.S.

More information about the new Notice of Funding Opportunity and the 2016 Health Insurance Enforcement and Consumer Protections Grants is available at: