The one thing that was supposed to change under the ACA that has been delayed is a mandate that all companies with more than 50 full-time employees get benefits. Companies will eventually face fines if they don't offer insurance. That doesn't go into effect until 2015.
What if I own -- or work for -- a small business?
A giant part of the small business community, 96 percent of small businesses, have fewer than 50 workers. If you own that kind of business, you don't have to worry about that employer mandate. If you work for one, you will be able to buy a policy in the new the Affordable Care Act marketplaces.
If you do employ more than 50 people, chances are you already offer insurance to your workers -- 90 percent do -- and business owners who are happy with their insurance plan can stick with it. In fact, many insurance companies are offering discounts to clients who renew their policies.
If you are in that 3 percent with more than 50 workers and you do not provide insurance, you will have to start -- or you'll have to pay a penalty starting in 2015.
The government has opened a small business marketplace, also known as the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). It is meant to provide an easier and cheaper venue for business owners to shop for insurance for their employees. SHOP's website lets business owners compare plans.
The government offers tax credits to these smaller business to help pay for this insurance. These are worth up to 50 percent of your premium costs. Small businesses can still deduct the rest of their premium cost not covered by the tax credit. It is only available for plans bought through SHOP.
Is anyone directly impacted by all this Affordable Care Act talk?
If you don't have insurance or haven't qualified for insurance in the past, you'll need to have it by March 31 of next year. If you don't, you'll be fined up to 1 percent of your income or $95, whichever is greater.
You can buy a plan from a broker at any time. If you want to buy through the new Affordable Care Act marketplaces, open enrollment stretches through March 31. You'll only get a tax break/subsidy if you buy a policy through the marketplaces.
If you are like Jeff Jones in Lexington, Ky., who wants a policy to start on Jan. 1, you'll have to make up your mind on which plan is right for you by Dec. 15.
Jones lost his job with the University of Kentucky and is unable to get on his partner's policy. "I've been shopping around online but haven't decided on which policy yet," he said.
Jones has been comparison shopping through Kentucky's state marketplace website. There have been some technical hiccups, but he's been able to see what he'd qualify for based on his expected income. A diabetic, he says he is grateful this is an option now. Currently, insurance companies could deny him a policy since he has this pre-existing condition. The Affordable Care Act ends that practice next year.
If you can get into the website, you can sign up for a policy through Healthcare.gov. There's also a phone number to call: 800-318-2596 (TTY: 855-889-4325). The number is staffed round the clock. Information is available in more than 150 languages.
There will also be specially trained advisers in communities. These "navigators," as they are known, can help you in person. If you would like to find the closest navigator, go to Localhelp.healthcare.gov. Plug in your ZIP code and it will give you the closest location to get help.
So bottom line, what does this cost?
Costs of plans vary, depending on where you live in this country and your age; the White House says you should be able to buy a plan for less than a $100 a month. If you want to see what your bill may look like, check out the Kaiser Family Foundation's calculator. The nonpartisan foundation's tool provides an estimate of your costs, depending on where you live and the plan you pick.
The bronze level is basic, silver is midrange and gold and platinum are higher-end. There is also a catastrophic option. Catastrophic insurance covers three doctor visits per year at no cost and preventive care such as screenings and vaccines. This plan will carry a higher deductible.
What do I get for my money now?
All plans bought through the exchanges must offer the same coverage benefits. Mental health is covered, behavioral health is covered, maternity care, emergency care, hospitalization, newborn care, prescription drugs, rehab, lab services and pediatric services. All offer free preventive care. Nearly all cap out-of-pocket costs to $6,350 and $12,700 per family. No one can be turned away. No one will be penalized because of their gender (women often paid more in the old insurance system). Only smokers may be penalized in some plans and some older people may pay more.
Dental is covered for kids, but it is not for adults. You'll have to buy a separate policy for that or find a policy that offers it.
There are more limited doctor and hospital networks offered in these plans. That's how insurance companies have been able to keep costs down and offer all these benefits. Insurance brokers advise you look to see if your doctor or favorite hospital is considered in-network with whatever plan you buy. Otherwise, you will have to switch doctors or pay a higher fee for seeing him or her.
Didn't Obama say I can keep my policy?
Some people who do buy their own insurance have been getting letters from their insurance companies saying their plan has been canceled. That's because their old plans don't qualify under these Affordable Care Act rules that mandate insurance cover all these benefits.
With these plans you will pay a monthly premium, and may also have a co-pay or be asked to meet a deductible when you go to the doctor or hospital.