By Dustin Summers
It’s January 3rd and you’re probably still not happy about being back at work. But hopefully, you enjoyed your New Year’s Eve and watched the ball (or music note…hey, Nashville) drop at midnight.
While New Year’s Day 2013 signified the turn of the calendar, January 1, 2014 will be quite different. On that day, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will essentially (finally) be fully implemented. Most everyone will be required to purchase health care insurance, health care exchanges and subsidies will have opened to consumers, and there will be a massive expansion of Medicaid. While 1/1/14 will be a monumental day, a multitude of steps must be taken in 2013 in an effort to ensure as smooth of an implementation process as possible.
A lot can happen in the course of 365 days, so below is a helpful timeline that highlights new provisions of the ACA while making a few predictions for the upcoming year…
January 1: In an effort to make care more accessible, the ACA provides new funding to state Medicaid programs allowing patients to pay nothing (or close to nothing) for many preventive services.
February 3: Super Bowl 47 is played in New Orleans. It will probably be won by a Manning, Beyonce will drag Kelly Rowland and whoever that third girl was on stage for a Destiny’s Child reunion, then Jay-Z will upstage everyone.
February 14: For Valentine’s Day, say “I love you” with a free STI screening, which are now covered under ACA provisions.
March 8: Taylor Swift begins dating Tim Tebow. (This has to happen, right?)
March 22: Spring Break. Remember the words of sports writer Clay Travis, kids, “It’s better to be the oldest person at spring break than the youngest person at the office,” but when a jelly-sting bite sends you to the ER you can find your nearest doctor using the Young Invincibles mobile app and pass the time in the waiting room putting the skeleton puzzle together. Just download the thing, you’ll see.
April 1: Eminem releases his Carley Rae Jepsen duet-parody “Call Me Shady” on April Fool’s Day. It sells a million copies in 24 hours.
April 19: Tim Tebow dumps Taylor Swift.
May 15: School’s out and it’s time to start mowing yards so you can pay for four years of college…yeah right.
June 7: “After Earth” debuts in theatres, and utilizing the foolproof equation (Will Smith + aliens + summertime = Enormous Success) M. Night Shayamalan somehow resurrects his career.
July 20: Taylor Swift releases new album entitled “Sacked.”
August 7: Fall semesters start as millions of college students return to campus and sign up for student health plans…which are now required to cover contraception, other preventive care, and spend more of your premium dollars on care, not profit.
September 1: Taylor Swift begins dating Tom Cruise.
October 1: Open enrollment begins on the new health care exchanges. Consumers will be able to “one stop shop” for a health care plan that works best for them.
November 28: Due to an exorbitant number of injuries from deep fried turkey accidents, at least three states are forced to amend state health insurance laws.
December 31: The last day for folks to get by without insurance before penalties begin to take effect. Plus, at some point during the year, you’ll have had a birthday, and assuming you weren’t born before 1987 (by the way, this was the top grossing movie of 1987), you will still be able to remain on your parents’ insurance due to expanded coverage for dependents up to age 26.
All in all, 2013 is shaping up to be a busy year in regards to the ACA. Make sure you check in with us as new portions of the law take effect and continue to impact young America.
Have a Happy New Year.