Despite the government shutdown, the Affordable Care Act is moving full steam ahead. Today is opening day for the individual purchasing exchanges. In Maryland, the exchange is called Maryland Health Connection and is being run by the State. The District of Columbia’s exchange is called DC Health Link and is being run by the District. Virginia’s exchange is being run by the federal government. Melanie Epstein and Peter Vinton have completed the required trainings and are authorized to sell plans on the exchange and as always off of the exchange as well. Individual plans outside of the exchange will be available for January 1, 2014 without medical underwriting. If you are eligible for financial assistance, you must purchase your coverage through an exchange. As you can imagine, there are still a lot of questions and confusion. We will do our best to help you determine your options!