The Affordable Care Act includes a variety of grant opportunities that states can pursue to support their implementation efforts. While the latest hot topic has been the exchange establishment grants, the ACA also provides grants to support state rate review efforts, health care workforce training, the development of eligibility and enrollment systems, and public health and health education initiatives. As SHAP states enter the final year of their programs, it is important to think about these grant opportunities as potential vehicles for sustaining initiatives that were developed over the last two years.
Many states are thinking strategically about how to approach pursuing ACA grant opportunities, as evidenced by the tracking mechanisms they have developed. Several states have shared their ACA grant opportunity tracking documents on State Refor(u)m, which contains a milestone for pursuing ACA grant opportunities. These tracking sheets provide states with the ability to track what funding opportunities there are available to take advantage of, assign which state entity should be responsible for pursuing the opportunity, and provide an overview of key deadlines. Here’s a quick overview of what states have shared:
- Nevada’s tracking sheet includes the award amounts for grants that the state has received thus far. The sheet also includes an overview of what grants are to be expected in the future and links to organizations that monitor funding opportunities.
- Alaska, New Mexico and Ohio created spreadsheets to track the various grants that their states are pursuing. These spreadsheets include valuable information that the states are using to manage the process, including: award amounts, cost sharing information, and potential partner agencies.
- Vermont’s tracking spreadsheet not only includes a list of available grants and key deadlines, but also includes periodic status updates for grants that were awarded to the state.
- West Virginia created a website to manage the administration of its grants. The website includes a list of grant awards and indicates which state agency is responsible for managing each grant. The site also includes a grants forecast, which lists potential grant opportunities in the future.
In addition to the work that states are already doing on pursuing ACA grant opportunities, NASHP has been working to prepare resources for SHAP states to support their sustainability efforts. Last month, the NASHP SHAP team prepared a crosswalk to potential federal funding opportunities for the Colorado team. This crosswalk analyzes the state’s current SHAP efforts and identifies several federal funding opportunities that could potentially align to support their program’s goals. You can download the crosswalk for Colorado here, and we encourage other SHAP states to contact the NASHP team for similar technical assistance.