A Look at the Affordable Care Act: 2014 Timeline

A Look at the Affordable Care Act: 2014 TimelineEach month AssuredPartners NL will discuss a different aspect of the Affordable Care Act. Stay tuned for more updates on the second Thursday of each month. Click here for more Affordable Care Act blogs. 

With 2014 just a few weeks away, many of the important Affordable Care Act reforms will begin rolling out shortly. January 1, 2014 is the effective date for most of the changes impacting health care, including the individual coverage mandate. Here’s a brief overview of the reforms, and how they may affect you, from HealthCare.gov:

Reforms beginning January 1, 2014:

  • Coverage begins in the Health Insurance Marketplace
  • Discrimination due to pre-existing conditions or gender prohibited
    Insurance companies can no longer refuse to sell coverage or renew policies because of pre-existing conditions
  • Annual limits on insurance coverage prohibited
    Plans and existing group plans can no longer impose an annual dollar limit for coverage received.
  • Coverage for individuals participating in clinical trials ensured
    Insurance companies can no longer drop individuals who are participating in a clinical trial.
  • Small Business Tax Credit increased
    Qualified small businesses and small non-profits will receive the second phase of the small business tax credit.
  • Access to Medicaid increased in states that expanded Medicaid eligibility
    Individuals who earn less than 133 percent of the poverty level ($14,000 for an individual or $29,000 for a family of four) are eligible to enroll in Medicaid.
  • Individual responsibility promoted
    Most individuals that can afford health care will be required to obtain the minimum essential coverage or a pay a fee.

March 31, 2014:

  • Open enrollment closes
    If you do not have the minimum essential coverage or have not applied for coverage through a state or federal Marketplace by this date, you will likely have to pay a penalty fee, known as the individual shared responsibility payment. This fee is 1% of your yearly income or $96/person for the year (whichever is higher). You make the payment when you file 2014 taxes. The fee will increase each year.

Minimum essential coverage includes any Marketplace plan or individual insurance plan, any employer plan including COBRA, Medicare, Medicaid, The Children’s Health Insurance Program, TRICARE, Veterans health care programs, Peace Corps Volunteer Plans and self –funded health coverage offered to students by universities that begin on or before Dec. 31, 2014.

Please note that the dates in this timeline may change based on additional guidance from the federal government.

What do you think about the reforms set to roll out in 2014? For more information on the Affordable Care Act, be sure to follow the AssuredPartners NL blog. If your organization needs assistance navigating health care reform, the AssuredPartners NL dedicated employee benefits team can help. To learn more, or contact an agent, visit: AssuredPartners NL Employee Benefits.

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