Minnesota building new health insurance marketplace

Published On: Jan 27 2013 03:21:18 PM CST
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -

Big changes are coming in how a fourth of all Minnesotans get health insurance as the state rushes to build a new kind of marketplace that will help about 1.3 million people choose their best coverage options.

It's called a health care exchange, a centerpiece of the Obama administration's health care overhaul. If it lives up to advance billing, consumers will go to a web site similar to Expedia where they can get the information they need to choose a plan, learn if they qualify for help and sign up -- all in less than an hour.

The project faces tight deadlines so that coverage can begin Jan. 1. Open enrollment begins Oct. 1.

The executive director of the exchange, April Todd-Malmlov, vows it will be ready by then.