Ready or not, here they come.
Barring a last-minute act of Congress, federal health insurance exchanges will begin enrolling on Tuesday Tennesseans and Virginians who do not have health insurance coverage.
Enrollment will happen via an online portal or by telephone.
The coverage is being offered under Obamacare — also known as the Affordable Care Act — which requires individuals to have health insurance plans beginning in 2014.
The federal government is aggressively promoting the exchanges, while most states are resisting them.
On the front lines of that promotion effort is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which is attempting to prove the exchanges will increase competition and lower insurance premiums.
HHS recently issued a report saying Tennessee consumers will be able to choose from an average of 59 health plans in the exchange marketplace.
“Nationally, the vast majority of consumers will have a choice of at least two different health insurance companies — usually more,” the HHS report said of how the exchanges will work. “Premiums nationwide will also be around 16 percent lower than originally expected — with about 95 percent of eligible uninsured living in states with lower than expected premiums — before taking into account financial assistance.”Read more in Sunday’s print edition of the Times-News or in the expanded electronic edition.