Pennsylvania's health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act will be run by the federal government.

The decision to yield to a federally regulated exchange is due to a lack of clarity from the federal government about how much a state-based exchange would cost and whether it would really mean more control for the state, Gov. Tom Corbett said Wednesday.

Democratic lawmakers have suggested opting out of a state-based exchange is a way for the governor to protest the Affordable Care Act.

State Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine says that's not the case.

"We're aware that there are criticisms that this was a politically motivated decision," he said. "I can tell you, after working on it and struggling with it and going pretty far down the road based on a state-based exchange, that it wasn't a political decision."

Consedine says the state could switch to a state-run exchange in January 2015.

The exchanges are meant to be organized marketplaces, where consumers can choose among various  health insurance plans that have been vetted, share certain core features, but differ in price and scope. They are required to be operational by January 2014.