WASHINGTON, DC -

An important part of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, begins on Tuesday.

Each state puts its Health Insurance Exchange on line.  The exchange is a source of information about how to shop for health insurance, which becomes mandatory for all Americans on January 1.

Only two health insurance companies are offering policies on the North Carolina exchange, but will offer several policy options and premium rates to choose from.

The exchanges are primarily for people who do not have health insurance coverage, but anyone may log on to learn information about what plans are available.

To log on to the North Carolina exchange, go to www.healthcare.gov