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State health insurance exchange OK'd by Vermont senate

State health insurance exchange OK'd by Vermont senate

MONTEPELIER, Vt.—The Vermont Senate has approved legislation that would create a state health insurance exchange.

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, states are required to establish their own health insurance exchanges by October 2013 or be rolled into a federally managed exchange.

Under the measure, H. 559, approved Tuesday by the Vermont Senate on a 20-7 vote, the state exchange would begin on Jan. 1, 2014, and be available to individuals and employers with up to 50 employees. On Jan. 1, 2016, the exchange would become available to employers with up to 100 employees.

The measure goes to a conference committee to resolve differences between the Senate-passed bill and a slightly different one approved by the Vermont House of Representatives.

Under a 2011 law, Vermont is supposed to move to a universal single-payer health care system by 2017. But prior to then, Vermont would need to get a waiver from federal regulators, as well as pass additional measures specifically laying out how that single-payer objective is to be accomplished.

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