Iowa will receive an additional $6.8 million from the federal government to help it establish an online health-insurance exchange, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday.<o:p></o:p>

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The grant is part of $1.5 billion in additional funding to 11 states to implement the exchanges, which are required to be operating by Jan. 1, 2014, under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare." <o:p></o:p>

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With this funding and two previous grants, Iowa has received a total of $41.2 million to establish an exchange.<o:p></o:p>

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Last month, Gov. Terry Branstad notified the department  that Iowa will pursue a state-federal partnership to develop and operate an exchange, one of three options the state had for building the mandatory exchanges.<o:p></o:p>

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The latest grant "will be used to develop an In-Person Assister Program that will provide services to educate consumers about their health care coverage options, help consumers file applications to receive eligibility determinations for insurance affordability programs, and provide guidance on comparing and selecting coverage options to enroll in Qualified Health Plans," according to a summary on the department's website.