As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly known as Obamacare, more changes in health care are slated to take hold starting New Year's Day.

On Jan. 1, the pay rate for doctors treating Medicaid patients will rise to match the payments for Medicare patients. Currently, many doctors won't accept Medicaid patients because of the disparity with Medicare, and the increase — fully funded by the federal government — is meant to fold in more physicians to care for an influx of 32 million newly insured patients in 2014, many of whom will be on Medicaid.

Also on New Year's Day, the feds will start to pick up the tab for state Medicaid programs that choose to offer preventive services at little or no cost. Such services include vaccinations and preventive screenings and tests.

The same day, Medicare will begin to bundle payments. Currently, each provider in a chain of medical procedures (e.g., primary physician, surgeon, hospital) bills separately. In 2013, that will change to a flat rate for the complete procedure.

On Oct 1., funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will be extended for two years through Oct. 1, 2015. CHIP subsidizes health care for children of low-income families.

Throughout 2013, the federal government will continue to certify each state's insurance exchange, a feature of Obamacare that allows consumers to comparison shop for health insurance, Those states that do not desire to establish an exchange will see the feds set up shop for them. In either case, insurance exchanges will be fully operational come Jan. 1, 2014.