by KRISTEN GERENCHER, The Wall Street Journal

In about six weeks, Americans will have a new kind of open enrollment to consider.

Starting October 1, 2013, people without health insurance can sign up for standardized coverage through new health-insurance marketplaces run either by their state, the federal government or a combination of the two—the centerpiece of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The coverage will take effect January 1, 2013. And people with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level—about $23,500 to $94,000 for a family of four—can receive financial help on a sliding scale to offset the costs.

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