Changes and Delays to the Health Law

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from The New York Times,

Over the past year, the Obama administration has made a series of major changes (13) to the health care law, many in response to the troubled rollout of

FEB. 7, 2013

Announces a one-year delay in issuing rules to states for putting in place a “Basic Health Program,” a Medicaid-like plan for low-income adults who don’t qualify for Medicaid and may not be eligible for insurance subsidies.


Delays for one year the option to provide workers with a choice of health plans on the small business marketplace, limiting them to a single plan.


Announces a one-year delay in the requirement that larger businesses offer health coverage to their employees or face a penalty.

SEPT. 26

Announces a one-month delay in the opening of the small-business marketplace, setting the new start date at Nov. 1.

OCT. 23

Announces an adjustment of the individual mandate deadline, saying people must now sign up for a plan by March 31, instead of Feb. 15, to avoid tax penalties.

NOV. 14

Asks insurers to reinstate plans being canceled because they do not comply with minimum coverage requirements of the law.

NOV. 22

Extends the deadline to sign up for health coverage that takes effect on Jan. 1 by eight days (to Dec. 23) and delays the 2015 insurance enrollment period by a month, to Nov. 15, 2014, after the midterm elections.

NOV. 27

Delays for one year online enrollment in the small-business marketplace (until November 2014). The rollout had previously been delayed one month.

DEC. 12

Urges insurers to give consumers more time to make their first premium payments for coverage beginning Jan. 1. On Dec. 18, America’s Health Insurance Plans, an industry trade group, says insurers will give them an extra 10 days, until Jan. 10, to pay their first premiums.

DEC. 19

Announces that people whose policies have been canceled will be allowed to buy catastrophic coverage and will be exempt from tax penalties for not having insurance in 2014. It also extends for one month an expiring federal program for people with cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses.

DEC. 23

Establishes a 24-hour grace period for people trying to sign up for health coverage that takes effect on Jan. 1, citing delays due to high website traffic. This change effectively extends the deadline for coverage beginning Jan. 1 to Dec. 24.

DEC. 24

Announces that if people could show that they missed the deadline for coverage beginning Jan. 1 because of problems with, they might qualify for “a special enrollment period.” The administration did not say how long the period would last, but a spokeswoman said it was not providing “a blanket extension,” but was offering to provide “assistance to individuals on a case-by-case basis.”

FEB. 10, 2014

For employers with between 50 and 99 employees, delays for another year (until 2016) the requirement that they offer health coverage to their employees or face a penalty. Temporarily reduces the percentage of employees that larger companies are required to cover.

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