The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act opened up the possibility of buying health insurance to millions of Americans who, for whatever reason, were uninsured before – to the tune of 8 million enrollees in PPACA health exchange plans as of early May.

However, some of those 8 million new policy owners were no doubt enrolled previously in a different plan, whether employer-based or individually bought.

Many of the largest health insurance carriers began offering plans on the state and federal health exchanges, but not all of them chose to provide an exchange option. And there's a lot of uncertainty surrounding the effects of the PPACA exchanges on health insurance carriers that have traditionally offered stand-alone individual or family insurance plans. Are individuals and families still purchasing these plans directly from the health insurance carriers? What's happening to the plan rates? And will health insurance carriers continue to offer individual or family plans?

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