The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act mandates that each state must have an online health insurance "marketplace" or "exchange" to make comparing health insurance and purchasing a policy easier for you. This is not the only way to enroll. More information about getting help by phone or in person is available in the FAQ "Is there ayone who can help me determine my best health insurance option?"
The Health Insurance Marketplace will be open October 1, 2013 for individuals and families buying their own coverage, small businesses with fewer than 100 employees, and the self-employed.
The Marketplace is intended to be efficient; to be easy to access and understand; to include price, quality and benefits details of options to consider; to allow for a streamlined enrollment process for Medicare, Medicaid, and the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP); and to inform you if you are elligible for low or no-cost health insurance coverage and allow you to access these benefits directly through the Marketplace.
The main reason for the Health Insurance Marketplace's coming into being is to have a central portal through which people who need to can self-educate, determine costs, and make selections for health insurance coverage.