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(Little Rock) (AP) – Arkansas insurance officials have released the rates that will be charged for policies sold through the marketplace being set up under the federal health care law.

The Insurance Department on Monday released the premium rates for the 71 qualified health insurance plans offered by four insurance companies that will be sold through the exchange. Open enrollment begins for the exchange on Oct. 1 and coverage begins Jan. 1.

State officials have said they expect about 500,000 people to sign up for coverage in the exchange. About half of them will be covered under a plan to use federal Medicaid dollars to purchase private insurance for private workers.

State Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford said the rates were as much as 25% less than what had been initially requested.

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