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(Little Rock) (AP) – Arkansas is preparing to implement a key part of the federal health care law with the launch of its online insurance marketplace.

Hundreds of agents, brokers and guides will be prepared Tuesday to help as the state launches its insurance exchange, an online marketplace where consumers can shop for coverage. State insurance officials last week announced the rates for the 71 plans offered by the four companies participating in the exchange.

State officials have said they expect 500,000 people to use the exchange. About half will participate through a plan the federal government approved last week allowing Arkansas to use Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance for low-income workers.

State insurance officials are holding a daylong signup event Tuesday at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.

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