SEATTLE -- Washington state's new health insurance marketplace opens for business on Tuesday.

The state's answer to President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act is available as of 7:30 a.m. online, via the telephone and in person at locations around the state.

State officials say they are ready and waiting for customers to call, sign on or stop by.

Washington residents have six months to buy health insurance through the new exchange during the first enrollment period, which ends in March.

The state estimates about a million Washington residents do not have health insurance, or about one in seven people.

The state hopes to enroll 130,000 people for health insurance in 2014 and another 280,000 in 2015.

Another 325,000 people will be eligible to sign up for free insurance through Medicaid.

Related links:

Washington Healthplanfinder

Washington Health Benefits Exchange

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