A new report examines how states can create health insurance exchanges, mandated under the Affordable Care Act, to provide Web-based one-stop shopping to individuals and small businesses to compare health benefit plans and purchase coverage.

The Center for American Progress, a Washington-based nonpartisan research and educational institute; and the Small Business Majority, a not-for-profit research and advocacy firm, developed the report. It lays out basic principals to consider when creating an exchange, five important decisions that will determine the shape and structure of the exchange, ways to maximize participation, and critical issues to confront.

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