A Mississippi Health Insurance Exchange could be up and running early next year.
Advocates say the health insurance exchange concept is intended to provide workers with better access to health care. Supporters also say it would reduce businesses' overhead costs and allow employees to purchase a policy with pretax dollars.
Other states are refusing to carry out programs tied to the federal health care overhaul, but Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney says the state has been considering the exchange for a long time.
Mississippi received $20 million this month from the federal government to move forward in starting its exchange.
It's the highest grant given to any state to start such an exchange.