ObamaCare Delays and ObamaCare Changes

Changes to ObamaCare and Delays to ObamaCare

Below is a list of ObamaCare delays and ObamaCare changes that have occurred over the years. ObamaCare has been subject to a few major changes and delays that everyone should be aware of.

Important ObamaCare changes include pushing back the opening of the small business marketplace, extending deadlines to obtain insurance, and providing additional exemptions. Below we cover the important changes.

Shorter Open Enrollment Periods

Open enrollment was originally planned to go from Nov 1st – Dec 15. The Obama administration and Biden administration generally extended federal deadlines, while the Trump administration has generally limited enrollment to the original Nov 1st – Dec 15 deadline.

Open Enrollment Delays and Extensions

There was a permanent extension that changed the enrollment deadline from Dec 15th to Jan 15th in 2021 (although states can issue their own deadlines).

Although open enrollment typically won’t be delayed, sometimes it is extended. Please make sure you see the latest information each year before and during open enrollment. That can be found on our open enrollment page.

Individual Mandate

For 2014 – 2018 most Americans were required to obtain and maintain coverage or pay a fee. However, the fee is reduced to zero in most states starting in 2019. This is a big change.

Short-Term Health Plans

Short term health plans that can be held for a full year are now more prevalent due to Trump administration changes. See Trump expansion of short-term plans.

ObamaCare Assistance Changes

Each year assistance amounts change based on the Federal Poverty Level and other factors. Make sure to check with the marketplace for the current rates and Medicaid/CHIP eligibility and make sure to update the marketplace if your income changes. ObamaCare Subsidies.

ObamaCare Medicaid Expansion Changes

When the NFIB took the law to court they managed to strike a major blow to the program. States are now able to opt out of expanding Medicaid under ObamaCare which has led to millions of Americans going without insurance and continuing to fall into the Medicaid gap. Each year more and more states may expand Medicaid. Learn more about ObamaCare Medicaid Expansion.

ObamaCare Employer Mandate Delay

The mandate for employers with fifty or more full-time equivalent employees to provide health coverage was delayed from 2014 to 2016.

HRA Changes

HRAs were limited under the ACA, but expanded under Trump.

Employer Contraceptive Mandate

There has been a lot of back in forth in the courts over the contraceptive mandate in the ACA. Please see an update here.

ObamaCare Small Business Health Options Marketplace Delay

ObamaCare’s open enrollment for small businesses originally started during 2014 open enrollment (Oct 1st, 2013 – March 31st, 2014). However the SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) marketplace that allows businesses with 50 or less full-time equivalent employees to enroll didn’t start until open enrollment 2015 (Nov 15th – Jan 15th 2014). Starting 2016 small businesses with between 50-100 full-time equivalent employees began to be able to use the marketplace in states that didn’t allow them to use it sooner. Small businesses can still get small business tax credits through an agent retroactively since 2010 and moving forward each year until they can use the marketplace to apply for tax credits.

ObamaCare Preexisting Conditions Pool Changes

A preexisting conditions pool opened under the law had to be closed early as it ran out of funding. This pool helped to pad the transition between insurers being able to deny those with preexisting conditions and charge them based on health and the new regulations that outlawed this.

ObamaCare Congress Change

Staffers who had plans through work (i.e. the federal government) got stuck in a loophole that made all congress members buy insurance through the marketplace, but prevented them from getting subsidies or employer contributions toward their health insurance making it unaffordable for this group. There has been a complex debate on this topic. You can learn more about the congress ObamaCare exemption here.


The law contains a whole title dedicated to the “CLASS Act.” Congress repealed the CLASS (Community Living Assistance Services and Supports) program of government-subsidized long-term-care insurance.

Many More Changes

Many small changes have been made to the healthcare system over time as new bills pass congress and rules are updated. Above we covered the major changes.


ObamaCare Changes and Delays

Author: Thomas DeMichele

Thomas DeMichele is the head writer and founder of ObamaCareFacts.com, FactsOnMedicare.com, and other websites. He has been in the health insurance and healthcare information field since 2012. ObamaCareFacts.com is a...

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