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MN online health exchange sees progress

While many states have yet to publicly decide between a health exchange run internally or by the federal government, Minnesota begins visualizing what its system will look like.

Next year, one-fifth of Minnesotans, about 1.2 million people, will sit at a computer, or speak with someone using a computer, to select their health insurance coverage, according to Detroit Lakes.

The newspaper likens the process to purchasing airline tickets on Travelocity or searching for a gift on Amazon. Planners anticipate the system to be very user-friendly and provide citizens with more choices than are currently at their disposition.

“It really should be a process that takes less than an hour to go through, April Todd-Malmlov, executive director for the state’s exchange, told Detroit Lakes.

While Minnesota, Iowa, Kentucky and some other states are building the exchanges based on residents’ needs, governors in states including Wisconsin, Missouri and Louisiana are leaving the work up to the Obama administration.

The online benefits exchange will ask users what kind of coverage they value most, whether they have deductibles and whether premium costs are applicable. Each answer will narrow a user’s options, who after providing all his or her information will be given a selection of policies to compare.

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Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe likes to write about things that matter. Keeping her finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the public sector world, she blogs about the latest legislative news and employee benefit trends that affect our school, city and county clients. She’s been with NIS since 2002. “I love connecting to our clients and providing them with the tools they need in order to administrate their plan,” says Erin. “Whether that be materials to educate their employees on certain benefits, how to effectively communicate change within an organization or just providing tips and how-to’s to help them make their job easier.”

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