At midnight, the marketplace for health insurance will be open for business.
On Tuesday the open enrollment phase of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," will take flight. For the first time Americans can go online and shop for health insurance by comparing different plans.
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On Monday, on the eve of the exchange's implementation, Mayor Michael Nutter encouraged residents to take an interest in the insurance laws which are required by both the state and federal governments.
"This is a historic moment in the history of the United States of America," Nutter said. "Affordable healthcare for all Americans."
Nutter said potentially hundreds of thousands of city residents qualify, and should enroll in a plan that meets their needs.
“Today, thousands of Philadelphians go uninsured, risking their physical, mental, emotional and fiscal health,” Nutter said. “The Affordable Care Act will ensure the affordability and accessibility to health care for every citizen in our city, state and nation. I want to encourage Philadelphians to do their own research and enroll in a plan that works for them and their families.”
Coverage can begin as early as Jan. 1, 2014.
Open enrollment for 2014 health insurance coverage closes March 31, 2014.
Individuals will only be eligible for 2014 enrollment if a qualifying life event, like loss of a job, birth or divorce, occurs, according to a news release.
"Healthcare is not a Republican issue, and it's not a Democratic issue, it's a moral issue," Nutter said. "Our citizens deserve access to a health care system that works in their best interests."