The US Department of Health & Human Services has announced grants of $70.9m to 13 states to help expand healthcare coverage for their uninsured populations.

The grants, funded under the new State Health Access Program, will assist states in providing affordable insurance to specific uninsured groups, such as children and the elderly.

The funds, to be granted over a five-year period, will also support the implementation of new initiatives to cover the uninsured, the government said.

The grants require a 20% financial match by the state unless it demonstrates financial hardship, the government said.