Healthcare Law Delays and Adjustments



Beginning in early 2013, the Obama administration began a streak of deadline extensions and other tweaks to the Affordable Care Act as significant implementation dates approached. The unfortunate rollout of the federal marketplace website sparked a number of these changes, and others came in response to complaints or unpreparedness.


Feb. 7, 2013 One-year delay in issuing rules to states for Basic Health Programs, a low-income insurance plan for those who fall into the eligibility gap between Medicaid and the marketplace subsidies. DELAY
April 2013 One-year delay of health plan options for workers in the small group marketplace, leaving employers to choose one policy for all employees. DELAY
July 2 One-year delay in “employer mandate” – the requirement for businesses with 50+ workers to offer full-timers coverage or pay a penalty. DELAY
Sept. 26 One-month delay of Small Business Health Options Program opening, pushed back to Nov. 1. DELAY
Oct. 23 Change to the individual mandate: uninsured people need to enroll by March 31 to avoid penalty, rather than Feb. 15. MODIFY
Nov. 14 Insurers asked to make policies cancelled for not meeting ACA requirements effective again. MODIFY
Nov. 22 Deadline extended to enroll in health plans effective on Jan. 1 until Dec. 23. Open enrollment in 2015 is delayed by one month, beginning Nov. 15, 2014. DELAY
Nov. 27 One-year delay of online enrollment in the exchanges for small businesses, now opening Nov. 2014, after already being delayed one month. DELAY
Dec. 12 Insurers urged to allow consumers more time — until Jan.10 — to pay their first premium for Jan. 1 coverage. MODIFY
Dec. 19 People subject to individual policy cancellations are now exempt from the penalty for being uninsured and are permitted to buy catastrophic plans. One-month extension of Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan for individuals with health problems. MODIFY
Dec. 23 Deadline to apply extended to Dec. 24. 24-hour grace period in place for those having difficulty enrolling through apparently due to site traffic. DELAY
Dec. 24 Announcement that those who tried to sign up by Dec. 24 and couldn’t due to technical errors may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. MODIFY
Feb. 10, 2014 Delayed requirement to cover employees or be penalized for medium-sized businesses with 50-99 workers. Larger employers are offered “relief” and required to cover fewer employees in the first year. DELAY