Connecticut will soon pick a board and staff members to oversee the development of a state health insurance exchange, where individuals and small businesses will be able to compare health plans online or by phone starting in 2014.The exchange is federally mandated as part of healthcare reform and must be available to consumers by Jan. 1, 2014. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offered a framework for developing the exchanges, which will be a marketplace for health plans first sold to individuals, and, in later years, to small businesses. Connecticut is one of 49 states and Washington DC that accepted grants to plan and develop a state-based health exchange. In September, Connecticut received a one-year planning grant of $996,848 from the federal government. The state is applying for $6.6 million to pay for a second phase of developing the exchange.