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BOISE -- The state of Idaho has just received a $20.3 million federal grant to help craft its own health insurance exchange.

Idaho Health Insurance Exchange Executive Director Amy Dowd announced the grant Wednesday. The money comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and will be used to help create the online marketplace where individuals and small business owners can go to buy health insurance coverage.

Dowd says the federal money will help the state meet upcoming deadlines for having the exchange operational.

Idaho is one of several states creating its own insurance exchange, which is a key component to the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

The exchanges are aimed at providing a transparent way for people who don't currently have insurance to compare and purchase policies.

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