PIERRE | Health organizations and other groups are gearing up to tell South Dakotans they can get health insurance through a new online marketplace starting Oct. 1.

The marketplace is being set up as part of the national Affordable Care Act. About 13 percent of the state's population is uninsured, and the aim is to draw as many people as possible into the new health exchange.

State government leaders opted to play no role in promoting it. That's left the health organizations to fill the void.

They'll use nearly $578,000 in federal money to pay for outreach efforts. Some of that will train workers to help people research options for the best insurance they can afford. Other money will go toward public meetings and radio and newspaper ads publicizing the exchange.

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