Considered the engines of the national health law, state exchanges are online marketplaces designed to make it easier for individuals and small businesses to shop for insurance policies. They will also be one-stop enrollment centers for low-income people who qualify for Medicaid and moderate income individuals who qualify for federal tax credits.
There's a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes work taking place in Olympia in preparation for these exchanges. Again, from Stateline's article:
One small group of states — led by Maryland, Washington, Oregon, Rhode Island and California — is running significantly ahead of the rest. Statutes have been enacted to create the exchanges and the basic decisions about how to run them have already been made.Our office and Gov. Chris Gregoire have also requested additional exchange legislation in Washington this year.