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Minnesota, Rhode Island get OK to launch health insurance exchanges

Minnesota, Rhode Island get OK to launch health insurance exchanges

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday it has given tentative approval to applications filed by Minnesota and Rhode Island to launch health insurance exchanges in 2014.

HHS has conditionally approved applications of 10 states, plus the District of Columbia, to run health insurance exchanges.

HHS also said Thursday that it has conditionally approved Delaware's application to enter a partnership agreement with HHS in which Delaware will assume responsibility for certain exchange functions.

Several other states — Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa and North Carolina — also have expressed interest in that arrangement, HHS said. States have until Feb. 15, 2013, to file applications for partnership arrangements. Delaware is the first state to receive approval for a partnership arrangement.

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which authorized the exchanges, the federal government can set up exchanges in states that decline to do so.

States had through Dec. 14 to notify the federal government on whether they will set up their own exchanges.

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