Health Care Reform Timeline: Important Dates You Need to Remember

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Obamacare?  Healthcare reform?  The Affordable Care Act?  Not sure what you need to do and when you need to do it? Don’t worry, we have you covered.

If you already have health insurance through your employer you are already covered.  You don’t need to do anything.

If you are uninsured or looking for more affordable health care, here are a few key dates to add to your calendar:


October 1, 2013 –Online Health Insurance Marketplaces open

Quick Tip:  Under the new health care law each state will have an online health insurance marketplace (also known as an exchange) where people can shop for health insurance.

  • If you are uninsured or just want to shop for more affordable health insurance you can begin shopping for and enroll in a health care plan in your state’s online health insurance marketplace.  Find the link to your state’s marketplace here.
  • You can apply for a subsidy to help you pay for your health insurance through the online health insurance marketplace. Your subsidy (also known as a tax credit) will be applied to your insurance premium when you purchase health insurance.


January 1, 2014  – Coverage Purchased Through Online Health Insurance Marketplaces Kicks In

  • If you purchased health insurance through an online health insurance marketplace, that plan will go into effect on January 1, 2014.
  • Although you are required to have health insurance in 2014, the penalty for being uninsured will not kick in until April 1, 2014. Visit an online health insurance marketplace if you’ve yet to purchase coverage.
  • You may have increased access to free or low-cost health care through Medicaid.   Medicaid may now be offered to you if you are under 65 with income less than about $15,302 ($31,155 for a family of four).  If eligible, you will not have to buy a plan in the Health Insurance Marketplace.

March 31, 2014 – Deadline to Purchase Health Insurance

  • Most uninsured Americans will have to be enrolled in a health care plan by this date or will receive a penalty or fine.  This penalty, or tax, will be reflected on your 2014 taxes, which you will file in 2015.
  • March 31, 2014 is the end of the open enrollment period for health insurance.  If you do not purchase health insurance during the open enrollment period you will not be able to get health coverage through the Marketplace until the next open enrollment period begins in October, unless you have a qualifying life change.

Have specific questions about how this impacts you?  Ask them below or get health care reform answers in our TurboTax community.