"The federal marketplace will be open and enrolling people on October 1," said Jack Cheevers, CMS spokesman.
The website that will serve as the one-stop destination for states in a federally facilitated exchange is healthcare.gov.
Some Individuals Hard to Reach
Regardless of how low insurance rates are or how well insurance exchanges are marketed, millions of people are expected to remain uninsured in 2014 and beyond. A study of the California market commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation estimates up to 4 million of California's 7.1 million uninsured residents will remain uninsured under healthcare reform.
While about one million of those residents are in the country illegally and thus ineligible for coverage, up to 25% will remain uninsured due to "a lack of affordable coverage options." Another segment will be "homeless individuals and people with significant mental health or substance abuse problems," while others "will not get the word about new options for coverage no matter the extent of outreach and education efforts," according to the study.
Other people who are currently uninsured—particularly young, healthy people—will likely opt to pay a fine for not purchasing insurance rather than pay monthly premiums for an entire year. The penalty for adults not buying insurance is $95 or 1% of their annual income if that total is larger. The maximum penalty for an entire family is $285 or 1% of family income.