Obamacare (also referred to as the Affordable Care Act or ACA) is a set of health insurance reforms approved by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010.
The Affordable Care Act allows Americans to buy health insurance via either state or federal marketplaces, and many qualify for subsidies to assist in paying some or all of their premium.
What is Obamacare?
The Affordable Care Act, more commonly known by its acronym Obamacare, is a federal law designed to make health insurance more accessible for many Americans and has resulted in an unprecedented surge in coverage among individuals across America.
Health insurers cannot deny coverage to people with preexisting conditions. Furthermore, young adults can remain on their parents’ plans until age 26; and most Americans must either carry health insurance or face penalties.
People without employer-provided health insurance may purchase coverage through state or federal marketplaces. These websites offer pre-set bronze, silver, gold, and platinum plans at various costs and levels of coverage.
The American Rescue Plan that passed in 2021 removed the subsidy cliff, meaning millions of Americans who receive financial assistance with their premiums will see their costs decrease both this year and into 2023 – ultimately making Obamacare plans less expensive overall for all those who can access them.
Who is eligible for Obamacare?
Individuals and families whose household income falls between 100% to 400% of the federal poverty level (FPL) may qualify for financial assistance through the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplaces or exchanges. This assistance is typically granted in form of subsidies.
Formerly, households earning above 400% of FPL were not eligible for subsidy assistance; however, Congress’ American Rescue Plan and Inflation Reduction Act, passed in 2021-2022, has repealed that limit through 2025.
Individuals and families can enroll in an Affordable Care Act-compliant plan during open enrollment, which runs November 1-15 in most states. Individuals and families may also sign up outside open enrollment if they experience a qualifying life event. The health insurance marketplace offers various plans from private insurers – Silver plans being the most popular but other options may also exist. Many plans include cost sharing reductions that lower deductibles, copays, and out-of-pocket maximums.
How do I get Obamacare?
Obamacare (also known as the Affordable Care Act, or ACA) offers health insurance to millions of Americans. Under this legislation, health insurers cannot deny or cancel coverage due to preexisting conditions; all plans must cover essential benefits; young adults can remain on their parents’ insurance until age 26 and lower-income individuals can purchase coverage through marketplace.
2022 will bring new consumer protections, additional financial help and expanded special enrollment to make signing up easier for coverage easier. As your financial aid is calculated based on estimated household income, it is vital that you estimate it accurately.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your life change, such as losing or changing jobs, moving, getting married, having a baby, or losing group health insurance due to COVID-19, a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) could allow you to enroll or change marketplace plans during that period.
Will Obamacare be in 2022?
At least 3 million Americans signed up for marketplace coverage during the 2022 open enrollment period and an unprecedented percentage received a subsidy, suggesting that Affordable Care Act affordability gains (such as zeroing out low-income household premium payments) continue to drive enrollment. Furthermore, the Biden Administration invested more resources into outreach and enrollment assistance programs.
How the Affordable Care Act will play out beyond 2023 will depend on two factors: (1) federal cuts or extensions of enhanced subsidies and (2) participation by insurers on exchanges – depending on a court ruling that challenges its authority to require companies offer coverage and assess fees against individuals without insurance – however other protections such as keeping children on parents’ plans until age 26 remain in force, as do its benefits for people with preexisting conditions who purchase marketplace plans.