Open enrollment for health plans begins Updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 | NEWSCHANNEL 3 - Millions of Americans without health insurance will be able to shop for a plan in the new government-mandated marketplace, starting Tuesday. There are an estimated 1.2-million uninsured people in Michigan. If you are uninsured, have been denied coverage in the past or just want to shop around for new options, you're encouraged to log on and explore the Health Insurance Marketplace. The purpose of the Marketplace is to compare coverage options based on price, benefits, quality and whatever other features you find important. Shopping around on the marketplace is similar to using a travel website to book a flight. Plans will not be able to deny you or charge you more based on pre-existing conditions. Health coverage under the Affordable Care Act can start as early as this coming January. Michigan Medicaid expansion, however, won't happen until April 2014.Under health care reform, every American is required to have coverage in 2014 or face fines. (There are several exemptions to that rule, including being homeless or recently evicted.)There is a six month window for open enrollment, which begins Tuesday and runs through the end of March. Officials will release premium information Tuesday for the 73 Michigan health plans approved by the government. As soon as that information comes in, we'll pass it along to you.You can find everything you need to know about open enrollment by heading to our Health Care Navigator: http://wwmt.com/news/features/hcn/.