Timeline: What's Changing and When

Key Dates for the Affordable Care Act:


Oct. 1, 2013

Health insurance marketplaces opened for business offering quality, affordable health insurance coverage to individuals whose employers do not offer health insurance they can afford and to small businesses. Marketplaces help individuals and small groups compare plans and provide more affordable coverage by pooling participants and spreading costs. People can still enroll in the marketplace plans through March 31, 2014; coverage will begin Jan. 1, 2014 for those who have enrolled by the end of this year.

As of October 1, children who do not qualify for Medicaid insurance can still get coverage through their states, thanks to two additional years of funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) included in the new healthcare law.

States will receive two additional years of funding to provide health insurance for children that do not qualify for Medicaid coverage through the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Throughout the year

Preventive healthcare coverage is improved by adding new funding to states that provide preventive services to Medicaid recipients at little or no cost.

Healthcare plans started using electronic records to reduce administrative costs and streamline services.

America's primary care doctor network is strengthened by requiring states to pay primary care physicians the same rate Medicare pays.


People who bought health insurance policies through health insurance marketplaces will begin getting health insurance coverage Jan. 1, 2014.

Individuals and families with low incomes who were not previously eligible for Medicaid will be able to get insurance coverage through Medicaid in states that choose to expand their Medicaid program. These states will get federal funds to cover the costs of enrolling new individuals and families.

Strong health insurance reforms take effect to protect Americans' healthcare coverage.

  • Health insurance companies can no longer refuse to sell or renew policies based upon health status or deny coverage for treatments based on pre-existing health conditions.
  • New restrictions limit insurance companies' ability to charge higher rates for health status, gender or other factors.
  • No more annual limits on the coverage a person can receive for essential health benefits.

You may be eligible for healthcare premium subsidies to reduce the amount you pay for your health insurance through new health insurance marketplaces if you're not offered affordable coverage through an employer.

New tax penalty goes into effect to promote individual responsibility. If affordable healthcare options are available, but an individual chooses not to purchase a plan, the law requires most individuals to obtain acceptable health insurance coverage or pay a fee for as little as $95 for 2014.

  • If affordable coverage is not available, this fee is waived.

The small business tax credit is expanded for qualified employers.

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