Minnesota lawmakers unveil bill to create insurance exchange

State lawmakers unveiled a bill Wednesday to create an insurance exchange in Minnesota.

The exchange is an online gateway for more than million Minnesotans to shop comparatively for health insurance or enroll in Medicaid beginning Oct. 1.

The bill calls for a seven-member board to govern the online marketplace, including choosing which insurance plans can be sold on the exchange.

But Julie Brunner of the trade group representing the state's insurers, the Minnesota Council of Health Plans, said insurers don't think a board should be able to limit which plans sell on the exchange.

"It should be automatic that if you meet the certification requirements to sell in the exchange, you can sell in the exchange," Brunner said.

The bill calls for charging health insurers a 3.5 percent surcharge on premiums for plans they sell on the exchange through 2014 in order to fund the online marketplace.

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