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Vermont health exchange finalizes rates

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- Vermont Health Connect, the state health insurance exchange being set up under the federal Affordable Care Act, has joined with two health insurance companies to finalize offerings and rates.

Wednesday's announcement comes about two months ahead of the Oct. 1 startup date when people are expected to begin enrolling in the new health insurance programs being offered under the federal law.

The health plans have been designed by Blue Cross Blue Shield and MVP Health Care.

Gov. Peter Shumlin says Vermont is the first state to finalize both its rates and insurance offerings under its exchange.

State health reform director Robin Lunge says Vermonters can go on the Vermont Health Connect website (http://healthconnect.vermont.gov) to begin comparison-shop for offerings and rates.