After the tumultuous debate over health care reform ended, many Americans were surprised to find that key parts of the law wouldn’t take effect until years into the future.

Many of the sweeping changes — an end to insurance companies withholding coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, government-regulated insurance marketplaces and the individual requirement to buy coverage — won’t take place until 2014.

Some measures, such as closing the infamous Medicare Part D “doughnut hole” in prescription drug coverage, will come even later.

The law, known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, set up a carefully choreographed order for how its different parts will take effect to minimize disruptions to the massive health care industry and the bill’s impact on the federal deficit.

This road map will help you understand when the law’s many parts will, and have, rolled out. Read more and follow the changes by year:

Health care reform timeline

Use FSA money so you don't lose it Skyrocketing drug co-payments FSA saves money, cuts taxes 125 cafeteria plan - Flexible spending accounts Is an HSA right for your family? Beware Medicare fraud risk 10 ways to save on health care costs Finding small business health insurance Continue to page 2 Get quick quotes Shopping for a health insurance plan What health care reform delivers in 2010

Health care reform timeline

2010 Retirement Guide 4 ways to trim health costs today Health care for retirees 6 employee benefits that help you save Paying out-of-pocket health care costs Medicare aids with health fees Wellness programs lower insurance premiums Health care reform: What's in it for you Choose a health plan Return to page 1

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