On the same day the U.S. government shut down, the new health insurance exchanges, an important step in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, kicked in.
Even though Obamacare was the main issue dividing House Democrats and Republicans and the reason the government shut down, its implementation has not actually been affected by the shutdown.
Health insurance exchanges are state- or federal-run marketplaces for health insurance that will allow people to shop for coverage from competing private health insurance providers. The participating health insurance providers will not be allowed to deny insurance nor charge higher premiums based on pre-existing conditions. Those with qualifying low incomes will have access to subsidized insurance plans.
Here’s an interactive map of which states have federal-, state- or partnership-run exchanges, based on data compiled by the Wall Street Journal. Click on any state for more info: