The four-year wait is nearly over for uninsured Michigan residents needing medical insurance through the 2010 federal health care law.
But when coverage kicks in starting Wednesday, it will be many more months or even years before a clear picture emerges of the law's impact in the state.
At most, just tens of thousands of residents will have picked a plan from the new federal health insurance marketplace in time for coverage in January. Many more will wait until getting closer to the end of open enrollment in three months, when many risk being fined for not having insurance.
And hundreds of thousands more newly eligible Medicaid recipients will have no choice but to wait because Michigan lawmakers delayed steering more poor and near-poor adults to the program until April.