As Government Closes, Health Reform Marketplaces Officially Open

BY Jason Kane  October 1, 2013 at 8:00 AM EDT

Eight hours after lawmakers forced a government shutdown over disagreements about the Affordable Care Act, the health reform law’s new health insurance marketplaces are officially open for business.

Coverage purchased now through Dec. 15 will kick in Jan. 1 — the first day that the law’s wildly controversial individual mandate will require most Americans to either purchase health insurance or eventually pay a fine. Open enrollment for the exchanges, as they’re also known, will continue through the end of March.

Are you still confused about whether you need to hit the Obamacare marketplaces? Here’s your cheat sheet.

Stay with the PBS NewsHour all day as we follow the marketplace rollout developments, as well as the technical hiccups and political dust-ups. And of course, tune in to the broadcast this evening for our full analysis.