Minn. Senate to take up health care marketplace

Published On: Mar 07 2013 06:25:49 AM CST   Updated On: Mar 07 2013 06:25:00 AM CST
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -

The Minnesota Senate will debate its bill to get the state's health insurance exchange up and running.

The Senate is scheduled to take up the issue Thursday. The House passed its version of the bill Monday, but there are key differences between the two versions.

The health insurance exchange is an online marketplace for the uninsured, and others, to shop for coverage plans. It's instrumental to the implementation of the federal government's health care overhaul in the next few years.

A major difference between House and Senate bills is how they cover operating costs for the exchange. The House bill places a tax on insurance premiums sold through the exchange, while senators tap money from existing cigarettes taxes. Differences will ultimately be worked out in conference committee.