Affordable Care Act: Important Dates (revised)


Editor's note: Sarah Dash is on faculty at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute. Previously, she aspired to a professional ballet career, but thinks it is better that you are the ones onstage. It is a privilege to share information about the Affordable Care Act with the Dance/USA audience.

By Sarah Dash

OCTOBER 1, 2013

  • New Health Insurance Marketplaces open for business in every state. To find the marketplace in each state, visit www.healthcare.gov. (Note: Online functionality may still vary from state to state as of this update).
  • Individuals should consider their coverage options for 2014 and gather the information they need to enroll in the marketplace.
  • Eligible small businesses can sign up through the SHOP exchange and may receive a tax credit to help with the cost of covering employees.

DECEMBER 15, 2013

  • Last day to enroll in coverage through marketplaces in order for coverage to begin on January 1, 2014. If you enroll in a private health insurance plan any time between October 1, 2013 and December 15, 2013, and make your first premium payment by the due date specified by your plan, your new health coverage starts January 1, 2014.

JANUARY 1, 2014  

  • Effective date of coverage through health insurance marketplaces for those who applied and paid by the deadline specified by their state and insurance company.

MARCH 15, 2014

  • Last day to enroll in marketplace coverage and pay your premium, in order for coverage to start on April 1, 2014.

MARCH 31, 2014

  • Last day to enroll in marketplace coverage to avoid tax penalties for 2014 (Note: Consider starting early to avoid any last-minute rush or technological challenges due to increased volume of applications at the end of March).
  • After March 31, 2014, individuals and families will not be able to enroll in Marketplace health plans until the next Open Enrollment period unless they have a qualifying life event.

2014 – THROUGHOUT THE YEAR

  • Individuals can enroll in Medicaid or CHIP at any time during the year, not just during open enrollment.
  • Small businesses can enroll in the SHOP program at any time during the year.
  • Individuals should maintain continuous coverage to avoid a tax penalty in 2015, unless they are exempted.
  • Individuals covered through the marketplace should make sure to promptly report changes in income to the marketplace to make sure they are getting the right level of financial assistance and avoid repayment in 2015.

2015

  • Businesses with 50 or more full-time-equivalent employees must provide coverage to workers or pay a penalty.
  • In states with federally run marketplaces, small businesses will be able to offer a choice of health care plans to their employees through the SHOP exchanges.

To read more on the ACA, see “How To Find Help Understanding Coverage Options,Buyer Beware: Dancers and the ACA, and “Raising the Curtain on the Affordable Care Act.” 

Sarah Dash is on faculty at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute. Previously, she aspired to a professional ballet career, but thinks it is better that you are the ones onstage. It is a privilege to share information about the Affordable Care Act with the Dance/USA audience.

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