RALEIGH (WTVD) -

Governor Bev Perdue announced Thursday that North Carolina intends to establish a state-federal partnership exchange to support implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act.

During a press conference at the State Capitol, Perdue said she will apply for grant money to help set-up a health exchange, which is a one-stop shop for buying health insurance.

The announcement comes on deadline day for states to apply for federal money. States have until mid-February to decide how exactly to set-up a health exchange.

North Carolina missed the opportunity to set up a state-based exchange by 2014, since the legislature did not act on the issue during the last legislative session.

Perdue's decision allows North Carolina to have input and a degree of control over the health care decision making process, and provides greater flexibility for the incoming governor.

Governor-elect Pat McCrory will take office in January.

"Governor Perdue's decision leaves flexibility for North Carolina in the future when it comes to the delivery of health care. I will be discussing this with more governors today, and will continue those discussions in the coming weeks to ensure the best results for North Carolina," he said Thursday in a statement.

Open enrollment for exchange plans is scheduled to start Oct. 1, 2013, and coverage will be effective Jan. 1, 2014.

In all, more than 30 million uninsured people nationwide are expected to gain coverage under the law.

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