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Vt. will be first with proposed exchange rates

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- State officials say Vermont will be the first state to see health insurers announce proposed rates that will be offered under the health insurance exchange being set up to comply with the federal health overhaul.

State officials say rates to be offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield and MVP Health will be reviewed by the Department of Financial Regulation before a final approval by the Green Mountain Care Board.

Gov. Peter Shumlin says Vermont is on track to have the exchange up and running by Oct. 1. Vermonters who work in places with 50 or fewer employees will be invited to sign up for insurance coverage effective Jan. 1.

Robin Lunge, Shumlin's director of health reform, calls the rate announcement — coming Monday — a big milestone.