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Published August 07, 2013, 02:40 PM

Minnesota health exchange seeks $55M federal grant

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's health insurance exchange is seeking a $55 million federal grant to pay for its operations next year.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's health insurance exchange is seeking a $55 million federal grant to pay for its operations next year.

The board of directors of MNsure met Wednesday to review the grant request.

Five previous federal grants to Minnesota's exchange added up to $110 million. The $55 million request would cover salaries for about 166 full-time employees who would work on MNsure operations, and would also cover spending on technology, marketing, customer service, administration and other items.

The director of MNsure says that by 2015, the exchange is expected to be able to cover its own operating costs through a premium tax of up to 3.5 percent on insurance plans sold on the exchange.

The state must submit its grant application next week with an expected award date of Oct. 1. That's the same day that MNsure is supposed to start operating.

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