The Affordable Care Act (ACA) gives people peace of mind by guaranteeing them access to quality health coverage and consumer protections while helping reduce health insurance premium costs.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) makes coverage affordable for individuals and families who earn 100-400% of federal poverty level by way of Marketplace enrollment and premium tax credits from ACA.
What is the Affordable Care Act?
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers Americans an unprecedented chance at affordable, comprehensive health insurance for the first time ever. It expanded Medicaid coverage, created a health insurance marketplace, prohibited insurers from denying coverage due to preexisting conditions or dropping you altogether, prohibited lifetime monetary caps from annual caps on coverage and required insurers to cover an essential benefits list.
Millions of Americans have gained coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but many are finding it challenging to access meaningful medical care with this coverage. RAND researchers have developed tools that provide step-by-step instructions on how to select a doctor and connect with primary care. These resources help people better understand their coverage options while giving them power over their health decisions.
Who is eligible for the Affordable Care Act?
Individuals and families earning up to 400% of the poverty level may qualify for affordable health insurance options through the marketplace, and may also receive financial assistance that reduces premium costs and out-of-pocket expenses.
The law stipulates that all plans sold on the marketplace must provide the same core set of benefits. These benefits include preventive care, prescription drug coverage and other essential services. It also prohibits insurers from discriminating against people with preexisting conditions or charging women more for similar plans; and setting annual lifetime limits.
The 2021 American Rescue Plan Act increased subsidies, enabling every eligible household to pay no more than 8.5 percent of their income on premiums until 2025. Most subsidized Obamacare enrollees save an average of $900 each year according to AARP estimates. To qualify for these subsidies, individuals or families must have had an eligible life event during open enrollment such as getting married or moving.
How do I find out if I am eligible for the Affordable Care Act?
Many Americans can now obtain affordable health coverage through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace, such as family plans with cost-sharing reductions that cover preexisting conditions. Individuals whose incomes fall within certain thresholds are eligible to receive tax credits to assist in paying their monthly premiums; eligibility will depend upon your estimated income; however, you may need to file an amended tax return in order to receive these subsidies (your actual household income will be reported when enrolling in a plan). Those unable to qualify can consider alternative plans such as short term health, faith-based coverage or standalone prescription drug coverage options although these typically provide less benefits than marketplace plans do.
Even those who do not qualify for Affordable Care Act subsidies can still buy an ACA compliant marketplace plan or work with an authorized insurance broker like eHealth to enroll in one. Plans meeting this standard must contain 10 essential health benefits with no annual or lifetime limits and may only have annual premium costs.
How do I sign up for the Affordable Care Act?
The Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, offers Americans new opportunities for affordable health insurance coverage. It removes limits such as lifetime dollar amounts or annual caps from coverage plans and allows people to remain on their parent’s plan up until age 26. Furthermore, this act protects individuals from being dropped due to preexisting conditions while providing consumers with freedom in selecting their doctor of choice.
The Affordable Care Act has introduced online marketplaces, or exchanges, where individuals can compare private insurance options and apply for financial assistance to cover costs. Individuals can apply for “cost-sharing reductions” and an advance premium tax credit to assist with monthly premium payments. In addition to expanding Medicaid to cover more low-income residents and mandating all businesses with 50 or more employees offering their employees access to enroll in SHOP Marketplace for healthcare coverage, The ACA requires these businesses to offer employees enrollment in Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace for their workers as part of compliance requirements under this act.
The Affordable Care Act’s online Marketplaces were made available for enrollment beginning October 2013. New York residents can utilize this site to apply and gain more information regarding their options.