(MARKETWATCH) — 1. “You might want to avoid signing up right away.”
In the offices of certain government officials and health insurance companies, a ticking countdown to a specific date was posted on the walls for months: Oct. 1. That was the day of the official ribbon-cutting for the exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act (commonly called Obamacare), when Americans began lining up for 2014 individual health insurance. But because the law’s future was uncertain until the Supreme Court upheld it in mid-2012, the exchanges had to scramble to get ready for opening day. Thirty-six states declined to set up their own exchanges for 2014 (each state has just one), so federal health officials had to do it instead — cramming years of work into a tight time frame.