Consumer Assistance Program


Section 1002 of the PPACA provides federal grants to states to establish, expand or support the establishment of independent offices of health insurance consumer assistance or ombudsman programs. According to the grant solicitation, these programs must assist consumers with filing complaints and appeals, assist consumers with enrollment into health coverage, and educate consumers on their rights and responsibilities with respect to health insurance coverage.

Congress appropriated $30 million for the program, and grant awards for states will be determined according to a population-based formula.

Arkansas Implementation

The Arkansas Insurance Department was awarded $296,659 in grant funding for the Consumer Assistance Program. AID plans to add the grant funding to its current consumer education and protection annual funding of $145,159, for a total project budget of $441,818 for the next fiscal year. Currently, about 30% of the AID's Consumer Services Division activities involve health insurance. With the new funding, the AID will create a separate Affordable Care Consumer Assistance Program and transfer to it all health insurance questions and complaints. Two of the six current CSD investigators and one administrative assistant will be reassigned to the ACCAP, and two employees will be added.

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Federal Documents

Arkansas Documents