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Sebelius writes to Utah

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The federal government is telling Utah it wants to work with them to certify the state’s existing health insurance exchange.

In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius tells Utah Gov. Gary Herbert that her office is eager to help Utah create an exchange that offers plans for businesses and individuals.

Utah’s exchange does not offer individual insurance plans.

Exchanges are online health insurance marketplaces pioneered in Utah and Massachusetts.

Sebelius’ letter is in response to Gov. Herbert’s Tuesday letter asking President Barack Obama to approve Utah’s exchange and declare that it meets the requirements of the federal health overhaul.

Friday is the deadline for states to decide if they will run their own exchanges or let the federal government do it for them.