Health insurance can often be confusing for many of us to have a good understanding of.  A new term “ACA” has added to the confusion for many Americans. In this blog we will tackle “What does ACA mean in health insurance”?  We will go into detail about how it has changed the overall health insurance market and helped millions of people enroll in affordable health insurance. 

  1. ACA stands for Affordable Care ACT which is a law that was enacted during President Obama’s term in 2010. Often referred to as Obamacare it was designed to make healthcare affordable to the millions of Americans who otherwise could not afford it.  The ACA law has several key components which includes Medicaid expansion, the elimination of denying coverage based on pre-existing health issues, and at one time the requirement to have health insurance or else be penalized. 
  2. The Affordable Care ACT (ACA) brought forth the creation of the Health Insurance Marketplace. Most states were able to utilize the federal government’s new website  However, some states chose to have their own independent state exchange administered by the specific state.  The online marketplace exchange allowed individuals, families, and small businesses a platform to shop for a health insurance plan with all of the carriers available in their county.  The exchange also has the capability for those who qualify to obtain a government subsidy in the form of a tax credit to help reduce their health insurance premium. 
  3. The ACA has helped to expand Medicaid in most states that choose to participate. Medicaid expansion increased the amount of money a household could earn and still qualify for Medicaid coverage.  This helps fill the gap for those who previously could not obtain affordable health insurance. 
  4. The Affordable Care Act implemented the very important component of the law that no longer allows health insurance carriers to deny, limit the amount of coverage, or charge higher premiums because of a pre-existing health issue. Prior to the formation of the ACA Marketplace carriers were allowed to discriminate against a person based on their health status.  The new law has been essential in helping those most in need to obtain affordable high-quality healthcare without restrictions based on health. 
  5. When the ACA law was first enacted a key component was the Individual Mandate. This meant that each American was required to enroll in a qualified health insurance plan or else be penalized.  The penalty was paid by the uninsured when submitting their annual taxes.  This part of the law has since been overturned and is no longer a requirement.  Despite the mandate being overturned the majority of qualified applicants have continued to purchase their health insurance through the exchange and the ACA marketplace has continued to thrive.

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