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Associated Press, Published March 18 2013

Major insurance overhaul passes at Minnesota Capitol

ST. PAUL, Minn. – More than 300,000 uninsured Minnesotans will have a route toward health coverage under a bill the state Senate passed Monday, the final legislative step toward implementing one of the major features of the new federal health care law.

The Senate approved the health insurance exchange bill on a party-line vote of 39-28. They sent the bill to Gov. Mark Dayton, who has vowed to sign it and whose administration has already been working for months on setting up the venture and hiring its employees ahead of a planned Oct. 1 enrollment debate.

The centerpiece of the plan is the health care exchange, a website where individuals and small business owners can compare and purchase private insurance plans. By 2016, according to initial projections, about 1.3 million Minnesota residents will get insurance through the exchange.