Obamacare: What to expect -- and when

Health reform has been implemented in stages, and we're nearing some key deadlines. Here are some important dates and what they mean, particularly for the uninsured.

By Mitch Lipka Aug 8, 2013 10:38AM
Pills (© MedicalRF.com/Corbis)Obamacare began stirring up strong emotions long before any parts of the complex law were implemented. But with key provisions of the Affordable Care Act taking effect Oct. 1, the controversy will soon yield to more practical concerns.

To get an idea of what's coming and when -- dates can change -- here is the current timeline for the various aspects of the law.

Oct. 1: Open enrollment starts for a new health insurance marketplace. Consumers and small businesses will be able to shop for health insurance policies here.

You'll be able to see what insurers are charging for different levels of coverage and sign up for plans that take effect on Jan. 1, 2014.

The marketplace -- to be run by states that chose to operate their own and by the federal government for everyone else -- opens the door to those who want to buy health insurance but aren't eligible through their employers, or are self-employed. (If you get health insurance through your employer, you don't need to buy coverage through the marketplace.) Small businesses, which won't be required to provide coverage for their employees until 2015, can also begin shopping for policies.

Jan. 1, 2014: This is a huge day for Obamacare. Many of the old rules of health insurance will go out the window and move sharply in favor of some consumers, particularly those most in need of health care.

The first policies issued by those who have shopped through the marketplace will start. In addition, a series of consumer protections will take effect. Insurers will not be allowed to refuse coverage to someone because of a pre-existing condition or charge more because of their health or gender.

In addition, caps on how much coverage someone can have in a given year will be dropped. Another change prevents an insurer for changing or eliminating coverage for anyone who chooses to participate in a clinical trial to treat a life-threatening disease, including cancer.

This is also the day that middle-income families become eligible for tax credits. Those who earn up to 400% of the poverty line (roughly $43,000 for an individual and $88,000 for a family of four) will be eligible. Because the tax credit can be applied in advance -- you don't have to wait until you file your taxes -- it can be applied to lower your monthly premiums.
Greater access to Medicaid is supposed to become available to those who earn less than 133% of the poverty level (about $29,000 for a family of four). However, this is a state-by-state decision and 21 states have indicated they are not going to comply with that provision. However, just about anyone who can afford health insurance will be required to buy at list minimal coverage or be assessed a penalty.

Jan. 1, 2015:
Small businesses -- those with at least 50 employees who work more than 30 hours a week -- will be required to offer health insurance to its employees. The deadline is a year later than had initially been planned, but appeals to delay implementation as some of the complexities of the law are sorted out were heeded. Those businesses face a $3,000 per person penalty if they fail to provide coverage.

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824Comments
Aug 8, 2013 12:38PM
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Jan. 2, 2015: No longer able to find a 40 hour a week job, many workers will realize that it makes more sense to just take government handouts. Welfare, Section 8 housing, food stamps and free medical card for the kids. Guess who will be paying that bill ?
Aug 8, 2013 12:45PM
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What to expect? 

 

Chaos.

People that voted for the idiot losing their jobs

People that voted for the idiot getting their hours cut

People that voted for the idiot expecting free health care

People that voted for the idiot expecting others to pay for their free health care

Socialism

 

What to hope for?

 

A repeal of this idiotic tax.

 

 

Aug 8, 2013 1:12PM
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What to expect?

1) The dependency class will increase in size and become more adament in their demands

2) The availability of service will decline

3) The quality of care will decline

4) Costs of health insurance for those who currently have health insurance will go up

5) Those who have been denied health insurance will still be limited in the service and coverage they receive in comparison to those that are not denied or have pre-existing conditions

6) The size and intrusiveness of the centralized government will expand

7) The US will take another step closer to a socialist state.

Aug 8, 2013 12:30PM
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you can expect our health can system to collapse .
Aug 8, 2013 12:43PM
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RIGHT AFTER HE MADE A SPEECH PRAISING OBAMACARE AND SAYING YOU CAN GO TO AN
EXCHANGE ON GET CHEAP HEALTHCARE WHICH WILL SAVE LIVES AND MONEY HE EXEMPTED
ALL OF CONGRESS AND THEIR STAFFS FROM OBAMACARE SO THEY CAN STAY ON THEIR
TAXPAYER CADILLAC PLANS! HE HASN'T GIVE INTO BIG UNIONS YET BUT JUST WAIT....
SO THEY PASS THIS AND FORCE THIS DEATHCARE ON AMERICANS BUT IT'S NOT GOOD FOR
THEM? WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU ABOUT OBAMACARE? I WANT TO KEEP MINE BUT I CAN'T!
and just think THE IRS WILL HAVE ALL YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS!!! PRIVACY IS NOW GONE!
MY COST HAVE GONE UP AND MY SERVICES ALREADY CUT AND THE DEATH PANEL ISN'T
EVEN IN CHARGE YET! RIP TO ALL AMERICANS BUT WASHINGTON!

Aug 8, 2013 12:44PM
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Since it's being run by the government,  I fully expect to be screwed. I'll pay more and get less. The system will be inefficient, as well as rife with waste and fraud.

 

Future administrations will point to this as a shining example of why they need more of my money in taxes. So that they can continue to "help" me.

 

To quote a line from an old Eastwood movie, " there's no end to doin' good".

Aug 8, 2013 12:36PM
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it's sad to see a once strong,self reliant,independent populace now expecting someone else to pay for their basic needs ...services that would be much less expensive if paid direct instead of by a third party...start filling out forms NOW for your aspirin tomorrow...and look to your future ...DETROIT...get used to long phone answer machine prompts in several language options...and learn to fear the word COMPLIANCE
Aug 8, 2013 12:32PM
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My prescriptions have already gone up twice since the unaffordable care act was passed. Now my insurance is going up when it renews with the caveat that it will be reevaluated come January 2014. Which translates into yet another price increase.

What would I do without barry helping me!!!!

Aug 8, 2013 12:43PM
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Bring it on ! Then we can finally get fid of the Democrats that helped endorse it when election time comes!
Aug 8, 2013 12:19PM
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Can we just call it how it is on the employer mandate? Employers were talking to their insurance companies and already seeing insurance jumps. Employers were angered and voicing their opinions on the matter, so to save face in next year's mid-term elections, the employer mandate was pushed back to delay the eventual increase in premiums.
Aug 8, 2013 12:37PM
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what to expect?? are you people serious, we all know what to expect a complete and utter financial ruin, that will never lower costs but skyrocket them, but the best thing is that all the idiot self-loathing guilt-ridden vermin out there that voted for that racist black bastard will pay LITERALLY, big time...the unaffordable healthcare act will destroy them financially as well, and that my friends is the greatest punishment they can get, I'm sooooooo cool with that fact!

oh and what's this??!! jobless claims 'tick' up again?? 'tick' up: translation :rose big time, whenever the regime says 'tick' just know it means rose big time!! fancy that??? and everything's going so well!!
Aug 8, 2013 12:46PM
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Here is what you can realistically expect from the so called "Obama-care" plan, If you happen to be lucky and live a healthy life... expect to pay premiums at a much higher rate that with yesterdays plans, or than you should, most likely will have a shorter life span....not selective for your situation. If you are unhealthy then expect to get lower quality care than you could get under yesterdays plans.... also expect to die earlier that you would under yesterdays health care plans. God it will be great when he is gone, hope his plan goes with him.
Aug 8, 2013 1:13PM
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They gave you all the clues you needed with it's implementation. Most, if not all of this was enacted in 2009, but almost all had not kicked before the 2012 elections. If I had something I was proud of I surely would have wanted it to be available before I ran for re-election. That is also the reason the employer mandate has been delayed til after the 2014 mid terms. Wake up people you are a frog in water and the heat is being turned up!

Aug 8, 2013 12:44PM
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What is really going to happen:

 

Insurance policy prices will soar. Right now I have been getting quotes of $1000.00 per month for minimum coverage!! (healthy individual)

 

Those with even the most minor of pre existing conditions will pay 3x the normal rate, so will smokers.

 So called subsidies wont pay enough to make it affordable.

Most companies are switching everyone over to part time right now.

The economy will crash as all of most peoples disposable income is lost.

Many will refuse to pay income tax. (because of the fine)

 

Aug 8, 2013 1:17PM
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YOU KNOW - YOU AMERICANS SHOULD BE SCARED TO DEATH!!!

FOR ME TO WITNESS THE MEDIA  "INFORM" THE POPULATION WITH DIFFERENT CONTENT DEPENDING ON THEIR BRAND NAME SHOULD TELL PEOPLE THEY ARE BEING BRAINWASHED BY SOMEBODY!!!!

BUT NOOOOOOOOO - - - - -  THERE'S TOO MUCH "BRAIN DEATH" IN AMERICA!!!


Aug 8, 2013 2:52PM
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Ok people I work for one of the largest HC providers in America. First not a bitter employee. Now from the inside, We are all being lied to by the folks in the WH and in Washington. The average middle class person is about to be hammered and forced out of what the President said you can keep "Your current HC insurance". That's right Even here more the 10,000 of use full time employees have been told we will be reduced to under 29 hrs a week and will lose our employer paid HC converge, forcing about 8500 of us into obamacare, Impact 8500 will now become non salaried and part time employees. Which also mean most will be now needing more Gov assistance to pay mortgages, Bills etc.  

 

If you think it's not going to happen just like this all across this country you're a fool. More and more Big, Small company will be doing the very same thing. Full time employment will become a thing of the past.

 

Next inside fact you can call it what you want. The so called death panels do exist and each exchange will have a board that will decide by numbers put together from statistics, if treatment is really going to benefit the whole, meaning will the procedure cost excide the life giving benefit.

 

While I do like some things MOST is very destructive to each of us not just in dollars and cent but to our once great Nation, and our heath care, and freedoms.

 

What we really need is a group of reporters that really want to look for the truths and fact to report this to Americans.

 

  

Aug 8, 2013 12:47PM
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Why can't this country just follow the example of successful health systems in other industrial countries.  Tying health coverage through a job has always been a stupid idea.  It was to entice workers after WWII, they don't have to do that any longer.  You should be able to do what you want for a living without having to consider losing insurance.  And keeping the weasels of insurance companies placated by still having them involved is ridiculous - let them go sell other types of insurance or go out of business- their choice.   

 

Aug 8, 2013 1:08PM
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If I had a business, the only thing that would be required of me would be to pay my employees for hours worked. Not having government tell me I have to give vacations, lunch hours or any other benefits. I then would be able to pay my employees more money.  It's to bad that government can't run a country and then try to run a business. Hell we are at 16 plus trillion dollars in debt Thank you OBAMA or first bi-racial president. .
Aug 8, 2013 12:16PM
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Usually predictable comedies like Obamacare aren't this funny...
Aug 8, 2013 1:15PM
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And if you don't buy it ...they will take the penalty (tax) out of your tax refund! Penalties start out low and go up and up. Liberal Newspaper source:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/13/readers-ask-we-answer-what-happens-if-you-dont-pay-obamacares-tax-penalty/
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