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    Health Care Reform:

    Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

    Health Reform Law Timeline

    2014 Implementations continued...

    Provision: Preserving Choice

    Effective: Jan. 1, 2014

    Workers who cannot afford the insurance coverage offered by their employer can apply the dollar contribution their employer would have made toward insurance to help pay for a more affordable plan in the newly established health insurance exchanges.

    Provision: Guaranteed Insurance Coverage

    Effective: Jan. 1, 2014

    The law requires insurance companies to sell and renew insurance policies to any individual regardless of pre-existing health conditions. The Congressional Budget Office estimates this provision of the law will bring coverage to an additional 34 million people by 2021.

    Provision: Increased Access to Medicaid

    Effective: Jan. 1, 2014

    States will receive federal funds to cover the cost of expanding their Medicaid programs. Individuals under the age of 65 who earn less than 133% of the federal poverty level -- $14,856.10 for an individual and $30,656.50 for a family of four -- will be covered.

    An additional 17 million people were expected to receive coverage as a result of Medicaid and CHIP expansions by 2021. However, the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act could limit the Medicaid expansion. The court removed a penalty for states that don't want to accept the extra funds and expand the number of people eligible for coverage. As a result, the ultimate number of people who will gain insurance via Medicaid may not meet the initial estimate of 17 million.

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