Americans who plan to enroll in state-based insurance exchanges were urged Tuesday by the White House to create an online account ahead of the virtual insurance markets' debut. Consumers can take one step closer to enrollment by creating a user name and password at healthcare.gov, and by providing basic data such as names, addresses and e-mail addresses, the CMS said in a newsletter. "When open enrollment begins October 1, you'll be set up to apply for health coverage, compare plans side-by-side, and enroll in a plan," according to the newsletter.

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