Millions of Americans will be able to shop for the first time Tuesday on the insurance marketplaces that are at the heart of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
Tuesday's rollout comes after months of buildup in which the marketplaces, also known as exchanges, have been both praised and vilified.
According to the Department of Insurance and Financial Services, the Marketplace offers four different plans; bronze, silver, gold, and platinum, which have varying levels of out-of-pocket costs.
Premiums vary based on the plan, age, region of residence, household size and tobacco use.
For those individuals making less than $44,000 per year, or a family of four making less than $92,000 per year, federal income tax credits and available to help offset the higher cost of the monthly premium.
The average cost of the bronze level plan, which the DIFS said has the lowest premiums but requires the highest out-of-pocket costs, is $275 per month.
"Newly required coverages, mandated by the ACA, make it impossible to make a direct comparison between policies purchased on the Marketplace and those purchased previously," said Kevin Clinton, Director of the DIFS. "Consumers should look at all available options in this new health insurance landscape to determine which policy best fits their needs and works within their budget."
Glitches are predicted and there's a risk: If people become frustrated and turn away from the program, the prospects for Obama's signature domestic policy achievement could dim.
For more information you can go to healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596.