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      Medicaid agency gearing up for questions on law

      By SEANNA ADCOXAssociated Press

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's Medicaid agency is ramping up its call center in expectation of a surge of questions about the federal health care law.

      Deputy Director John Supra says hours began increasing July 1 and the agency is hiring in preparation of a full ramp-up in October, when people can begin buying health insurance through online marketplaces called exchanges.

      Supra says the call center will be able to handle 50% more calls.

      South Carolina is not running a state exchange. And unlike other states, it's also not marketing the health care law.

      But officials want to be able to answer residents' questions that are sure to come.

      Supra says the Department of Health and Human Services expects to spend an additional $250,000 this year on the call center.

      Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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