Delaware, Minnesota and Rhode Island have received conditional approval to operate health insurance exchanges beginning in 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services announced today. Delaware became the first state to receive conditional approval to operate an exchange in partnership with HHS, and Minnesota and Rhode Island received conditional approval to operate state-based exchanges. Last week, HHS granted conditional approval for state-based exchanges in Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Oregon and Washington state. States opting for a partnership exchange must submit a blueprint to HHS by Feb. 15, 2013. HHS said Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa and North Carolina expressed early interest in a partnership exchange.