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Franken: details coming on health care changes

Published 5:46am Sunday, January 13, 2013

ST. PAUL — Minnesota Sen. Al Franken said he hopes the Obama administration will soon release details of how states can provide health insurance to lower-income people as part of the federal healthcare overhaul.

Franken met Friday at the state Capitol with DFL legislators working on Minnesota’s health insurance exchange, a key aspect of the federal changes. Lawmakers have until March 31 to get Minnesota’s exchange going, but are waiting for federal guidance on one key decision: whether to replace the MinnesotaCare program with a federal alternative.

MinnesotaCare is a state-subsidized plan for people under 65 who make too much to enroll in Medicaid but not enough to afford commercial insurance. The administration is offering a federal alternative but has not yet revealed how much states will have to pay and other details.