Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of people talking about Obamacare starting October 1, January 1, and a few other dates but they also aren’t sure what it means. So here are a few dates and what happened on those dates, and you can decide what it does/did start.
March 23, 2010—the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was signed in to law by President Obama. Following that, a time table of what happens when started to come out. If you bought a health plan prior to this date, it is what is called ‘grandfathered,’ and those are the plans supposedly you can keep if you like them at this point.
September 23, 2010—most of the health insurance plans, individual plan in particular, were going to be taken off the market for active sales and replaced as of January 1, 2011, with new more ‘expanded’ plans. We agents didn’t have a lot to sell at that time, and then a whole bunch of new or revised plans came out.
The new ‘non-grandfathered’ plans had some good things—no annual or lifetime maximums on benefits, expanded preventive care available at no copay, prior to meeting the deductible, if you see a doctor contracted with your health plan. Also, adult children up to age 26 can stay on their parents’ plan, even if they are not full time students or not living at home.
October 1, 2013—Here’s one where people think Obamacare will start. What does start is the ability to enroll in a health plan, open enrollment, either inside or outside of the health benefits Marketplace that will be guaranteed issue regardless of health conditions, and effective January 1, 2014. At least, it’s supposed to be. The California marketplace, Covered California, is supposed to be up and running October 1, and the insurance carriers are supposed to be set to go with non-marketplace plans, but we’re waiting for more details.
January 1, 2014—Guaranteed issue plans will go into effect if you’ve applied by December 15, 2013. There will be a continued open enrollment through March 15, 2014.
Next—should you buy inside the exchange, and how do you do it?