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Feds approve state-based Hawaii health exchange

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WASHINGTON » The federal government has given Hawaii conditional approval for running its own state-based health exchange.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced today that Hawaii has made significant progress toward setting up its own exchange and can go forward under the Affordable Care Act.

The federal agency says to date 20 states and the District of Columbia have been conditionally approved to partially or fully run their own health exchanges. Hawaii, as well as California, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Vermont and Utah, joined those states today.

Under the health care law, the federal government can step in and establish exchanges in states where none exist. Some states, including Alaska, are opting to allow the federal government to do that.

Health services are expected to begin in 2014.

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