State gets approval to operate health exchange

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Washington state has received conditional approval by the federal government to move forward with a state-based health insurance exchange starting Oct. 1, 2013.

Washington was one of six states to get the early approval announced Monday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The other states were: Maryland, Oregon, Massachusetts, Colorado and Connecticut.

Washington Healthplanfinder will be the online portal for people to compare and enroll in health insurance coverage. Washington Healthplanfinder will begin enrolling consumers on October 1, 2013, for health insurance coverage beginning on January 1, 2014.

Gov. Chris Gregoire says 200,000 uninsured Washingtonians will be able to receive insurance through the exchange.