The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, offers health insurance to many uninsured Americans. Those with limited income may qualify for financial assistance that lowers premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) also extended Medicaid coverage to millions of Americans living below the poverty level, helping ensure that children from low-income families can access essential medical care.
1. People with pre-existing conditions
Before the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed in March 2010, health plans had considerable latitude to deny, charge higher premiums, or refuse coverage to those with preexisting conditions. Furthermore, they might impose a waiting period on those without continuous coverage before enrolling in their new plan.
However, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) put an end to these practices by making it illegal for ACA-compliant major medical plans and certain other types of health insurance to deny or limit coverage based on preexisting conditions. Furthermore, it ensured that plans must include essential health benefits like prescription drugs, maternity care, and mental health services.
However, the number of individuals with pre-existing conditions who lack other sources of healthcare has been growing. This is partly because many were unable to find affordable coverage before the Affordable Care Act and were thus unprotected by its law. This trend is especially acute among lower income individuals, those without employer-based coverage, and immigrants.
2. People who can’t afford health insurance
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers several pathways to increasing coverage among Americans. It offers private health insurance through online marketplaces called exchanges, often with a substantial federal subsidy to cover premium costs. Furthermore, the ACA encourages states to expand Medicaid programs so more low-income people are covered; approximately half of states have already done this.
However, despite these efforts the Affordable Care Act still leaves millions of Americans without health insurance. An estimated 19 million uninsured adults are ineligible for either Medicaid or subsidies and thus remain unaffected by the ACA’s provisions.
This group is disproportionately young, Latino, and low-income; leaving it especially vulnerable to financial hardships and the burden of medical bills – both key reasons why people get insurance coverage. Fortunately, the Affordable Care Act has expanded eligibility for tax credits so some of these millions left behind can afford coverage more affordably. This may be an effective solution in increasing coverage levels across America.
3. People who don’t qualify for an exemption
In 2018, the shared responsibility payment, or penalty, that had previously been levied against those without health insurance was abolished. Despite this end to the tax penalty, millions of Americans still require exemptions for various reasons.
People who are unemployed may not have a job that provides health coverage, while those who had to file for bankruptcy within the past six months might lack coverage due to being unable to afford it.
But there are also hardship exemptions that can be used to purchase health coverage. Exchanges use rules and guidelines to make this determination.
Hardship exemptions can apply to homelessness, domestic violence and eviction. They may also be based on certain medical expenses or damage to property. A list of qualifying hardships is available on the health insurance marketplace.
4. People who don’t live in the U.S.
The Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as “Obamacare,” was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in 2010. To increase coverage rates among lower-income Americans, two primary strategies include offering private insurance through online marketplaces and expanding Medicaid – a public program that assists lower-income individuals.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers tax credits to assist some Americans in affording health coverage. These benefits can also be extended to small businesses offering such coverage.
Despite these advances, millions of Americans still lack health insurance. According to a Commonwealth Fund survey, nearly 40% of working-age adults are classified as being “inadequately insured”.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), all individuals are required to purchase health insurance or face a fine. Furthermore, most employers must offer coverage or face financial repercussions.