MONTPELIER (AP) -- Vermont has won conditional federal approval for its plan to build a consumer-friendly health insurance marketplace, or exchange.
Vermont is now one of 17 states to have gotten word from a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that they are on track to have a health exchange ready for business by Oct. 1.
Robin Lunge, Gov. Peter Shumlin's director of health reform, says much work remains to get the exchange up and running.
Insurance companies are to submit bids shortly for what kinds of products they want to offer through the exchange and at what prices.
The state also will be requesting proposals for organizations that want to provide navigators -- people who will guide consumers through the process of shopping for insurance in the exchange.