/ Modified aug 2, 2013 6:05 p.m.

Health Care Marketplaces Begin Enrollment in Fall

White House says insurance choices will increase for most consumers.



Enrollment for health insurance marketplaces will begin Oct. 1. It is designed to allow people to purchase health insurance, even if an employer doesn’t provide it.

This is one of the provisions of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The exchanges, or marketplaces, open for enrollment this fall, as well as the coverage will begin in 2014 for those who purchase insurance that way.

Gov. Jan Brewer decided not to create a specific insurance exchange program for Arizona. So, residents who wish to use the marketplaces will participate in a national program.

The marketplaces will be available to people who are already insured, or those who are uninsured, said Cecilia Muñoz, director of the White House domestic policy council.

It will increase options for most people, she said.

“An estimated 80 percent of people who will enroll in the marketplaces are going to have five or more different insurance companies to choose from, instead of just one or two," Muñoz said. "That means more competition...lower rates...(and) more choices for people."

In Arizona, almost one million people, or about 18 percent of residents, are uninsured, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

More than half of the uninsured people in this state are males, with at least one person in their family working full time. They are also more likely to be white than part of a racial minority, the federal numbers showed.

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