If you need coverage, you can use the private exchange to enroll. If you have coverage, you gain new rights and protections through the private exchange.
But if you don’t have any qualified coverage (individual or family coverage, plan through your job or your spouse's, or a government-sponsored plan), you may have to pay a fee, unless you qualify for an exception.
Exchanges and what’s changing in 2014:
Whether you’ve been uninsured, you’ve been turned down for health insurance in the past, or you just want to see if you can save money and get better coverage under the new law. The Private Exchange will offer you the best coverage at the lowest prices. You'll have more control over your benefits. No matter where you live in the United States, you'll have access to the new health plans.