Posted at: 01/09/2013 4:14 PM
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A bipartisan group of Minnesota lawmakers has unveiled preliminary plans for the state health insurance exchange that will be a key piece of carrying out the federal health-care overhaul.
At a Capitol news conference on Wednesday, lawmakers said they expect about 1.2 million Minnesotans - or one out of five - to obtain health care through the exchange. In broad terms, the exchange is an online marketplace that will offer the uninsured an opportunity to compare and shop for private coverage.
State Sen. Tony Lourey says of that total figure who will use the exchange, about 300,000 are currently uninsured. Lawmakers say they also hope it will significantly reduce health insurance expenses for small businesses.
Lawmakers plan to start hearings on Minnesota's proposal next week. Enrollment in the exchange is targeted to start on Oct. 1 of this year.
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