Will enough young, healthy individuals purchase insurance in order to keep costs down after the first year? Time will have to tell.
On the small business side of things, one trend I will be watching next year:
* How many new West Virginia stores will Sheetz announce in 2014?
The Pennsylvania-based convenience restaurant chain should be nicknamed the Starbucks of Appalachia given its pace of expansion in recent years.
It already has four locations in Putnam County, one is in the works for South Charleston, and Jackson County will be getting two in the next few years.
With the Kanawha Valley labeled a primary growth region for the company, will the Charleston area see more locations cropping up in the near future?
* Related to that: What will the state's existing store chains -- Speedway, Go Mart, Par Mar and Little General Store -- do to compete with Sheetz's aggressive growth?
Speedway has already decided to completely reconstruct its South Charleston location and is building new, large store off the Fairplain exit in Jackson County (one exit south of Sheetz's planned Ripley location).
Little General also recently acquired several stores in north-central West Virginia.It will be interesting to see what further steps existing stores take to adapt to the competition from Sheetz, and how those changes benefit consumers.