MN Gets $4.2M for Health Insurance Exchange

The exchange will allow consumers to compare and buy health insurance.

The State of Minnesota has received $4.2 million from the federal government to set up a health insurance exchange, the state's Department of Commerce announced Friday.

Health insurance exchanges, mandated by the 2010 federal health reform law, will allow consumers to shop online for health care coverage options based on cost, quality, and consumer satisfaction.

The funding, awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will be administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

Minnesota received a $1 million planning grant in February and is one of 13 states to receive additional funding, according to the Star Tribune. The Department of Commerce, in partnership with the Minnesota Departments of Human Services and Health, has been working on preliminary analytical, operational, and technical infrastructure planning for an exchange, according to a state press release.

The additional funds will go towards designing and carrying out the plans for a Minnesota exchange, and setting up an advisory task force.

“This funding will help us to provide better health care at lower costs for all Minnesotans,” Governor Mark Dayton said in a statement. “We have already made good progress in designing a health exchange that will put Minnesota in the forefront of health care reform.”

Each state has until January 1, 2013 to create the foundation for its own health insurance exchange, which must be available to consumers beginning in 2014.