Effective Jan. 1, 2014, as part of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, all states are required to have a healthcare exchange in place where individuals and small groups can compare health insurance plans, shop and apply for coverage.

The Michigan Health Insurance Marketplace, commonly referred to as the Exchange, is administered by the federal government and opened for enrollment on Oct. 1, 2013, to help provide an estimated 1.4 million uninsured or underinsured Michiganders access to health care coverage.

There are many public resources for more information on purchasing health insurance on the Exchange, and we’ve gathered some of the more frequently asked questions and answers here:

How does the Affordable Care Act affect people like me?

Where do I go to purchase insurance on the Exchange?

I hear there are problems with the website that have prevented people from enrolling to purchase health insurance on the Exchange?

What types of insurance will be offered on the Exchange? Is this government-run healthcare?

Which plans on the Exchange will allow me to seek care at Sparrow?

How do I know if I qualify for Medicaid or should look for insurance on the Exchange?

I don’t have insurance because I can’t afford it. How will I be able to afford insurance on the Exchange?

Where can I go for more information?