California's new insurance exchange is seeking about $190 million in additional federal money as it prepares to help millions of consumers shop for health insurance.
Peter Lee, executive director of the California Health Benefit Exchange, said the funding request was sent this week, before the Supreme Court decision upholding the federal healthcare program. The exchange plans to use the money to help build an enrollment system for millions of Californians who can start signing up for policies in October 2013.
Lee said he received a congratulatory call from his 84-year-old mother in Pasadena shortly after the court ruling was announced.
"This is great news for California and the future of healthcare in America," Lee said. "California has been moving full speed ahead for the past year and this opinion means we will continue on that path to provide healthcare coverage to 5 million people who are without insurance."
Lee said this coverage expansion can help not only the uninsured, but he hopes it will help bring down the costs for all employers and consumers who already face rising premiums.