What is the Affordable Care Act?

What is the Affordable Care Act?

What is the affordable care act

The Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, mandates that most health plans cover an essential benefits package without annual dollar limits or annual dollar caps, which includes maternity and mental health coverage.

The Affordable Care Act prohibits insurers from dropping or refusing to sell health insurance to people with preexisting conditions, while permitting young adults to remain on their parents’ plans up until age 26.

What is the Affordable Care Act?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare or the ACA, was enacted as part of comprehensive health reform law in March 2010 (and sometimes known by other names such as PPACA or ObamaCare). This comprehensive healthcare reform law laid a firm foundation for significant and meaningful systemic change by expanding access to affordable coverage as well as reforming insurance markets.

As part of its Affordable Care Act requirements for individuals and small group markets, plans offered must provide certain essential benefits without annual dollar limits, protecting patients from plan changes or denial of services due to cost considerations. This coverage includes women’s maternity coverage, addiction treatment services and habilitative services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Affordable Care Act expands eligibility for Medicaid by making coverage available to people whose income falls within 133% of the federal poverty line, creating exchanges to shop for health coverage, and offering premium tax credits that help eligible Americans afford coverage.

What is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act?

To improve health insurance coverage in the United States. This Act establishes a Health Benefit Exchange to promote competition and choice in the health insurance market by giving individuals access to purchase coverage through an Internet-based system. Requiring large employers to offer employees access to an Exchange for purchasing qualified health plans; mandating all large health plans provide uniform coverage documents and medical loss ratios per plan type offered; as well as mandating that the Secretary of Health and Human Services conduct an analysis on fully insured/self-insured group health plan markets related to financial solvency/market reforms.

Requiring health plans (except grandfathered plans ) to reduce annual and lifetime limits for benefits on specified items or services, and prohibiting plans from revoking coverage due to fraud or intentional misrepresentation, except in cases of fraud or intentional misrepresentation. Establishing an eligibility verification program through which eligibility for participation in Exchanges, assistance under this Act or public programs such as Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program is verified; civil penalties will apply for violations.

What is the Reconciliation Act?

Reconciliation allows lawmakers to consider bills that directly alter spending or revenues, although Senate Byrd Rule and CBO policy regarding “scoring” reconciliation provisions limit what kinds of changes can be implemented with this process.

For instance, the Affordable Care Act prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage to pre-existing conditions or charging higher premiums than others for equivalent coverage; additionally it mandates coverage of essential health benefits by insurers as well as tax credits to help families afford health insurance and provides a marketplace where people can shop around for plans best suited to them.

Congress has used the reconciliation process many times before, including for a deficit reduction package in 1974 and budget cuts during the Reagan and George W. Bush administrations; changes to cash assistance programs in 1996; large tax cuts in 2001 and 2017; and even two attempts by Republican House and Senate members under Republican control to repeal elements of Obamacare by this method; both attempts were vetoed by President Obama.

What is the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act?

The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, using Congress’ reconciliation process. It was signed into law by President Obama during his final year in office on March 16, 2013 using this new bill, making several modifications. PPACA mandates health insurance coverage for most Americans while offering tax credits and exemptions for both individuals and businesses as well as provisions to reduce healthcare fraud, foster comparison shopping in health insurance exchanges, close Medicare’s “doughnut hole” by 2020 and more.

As well as health reforms, this bill increases Pell Grants for undergraduate students, allots funds to historically black colleges and universities (such as Tuskegee University) and increases worker training programs at community colleges. Furthermore, penalties were imposed upon employers who failed to offer employee health insurance, while expanding Medicaid across each state; many of these changes took effect beginning January 2014. Insurers no longer practice rescission – a practice used to prevent those with medical conditions from gaining coverage – which made coverage more accessible than ever.

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About the Author: Raymond Donovan