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Minnesota Receives $26 Million Federal Grant

2/22/2012 10:14:43 AM

For Immediate Release

ST. PAUL, MN - Governor Mark Dayton announced today that the state has received a $26 million grant to continue the design and development of a Minnesota-made health insurance exchange. An exchange is a marketplace where Minnesota consumers and employers can find, compare, choose, and purchase health care coverage that best fits their personal, family, and business needs. The funding, provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), will be administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

"This grant provides the resources to continue the design and planning for technical infrastructure, program integration, operations, and outreach for a Minnesota made exchange," said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. "It will further support ongoing work with all stakeholders to design an exchange that meets the unique demands of Minnesota's consumers, businesses, and health care marketplace."

Minnesota has less than 11 months until a key deadline. States must demonstrate their own health insurance exchanges will work by January 1, 2013, and make their exchanges available to consumers by January 1, 2014. If the state does not do the work necessary to achieve certification by the end of this year, the federal government will impose a one-size-fits-all solution on Minnesota.

Minnesota received two initial exchange planning and development grants in February and August 2011. Since then, the Commerce Department, in partnership with the departments of Human Services and Health, has engaged a variety of stakeholders - including consumers, employers, insurers, agents, navigators, health care providers, and legislators - to advise on analytical, operational, and technical infrastructure planning for an exchange. This new grant provides resources to continue that collaborative work.

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