Healthcare Reform

In 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the Health Care & Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 into law. Combined, these two laws are now referred to as "The Affordable Care Act" (ACA) and have significantly changed how consumers access health insurance.

Some changes are already in effect, including:

  • Preventive care is covered with no cost share
  • Young adults may be covered on their parent's plan up to age 26
  • There are no maximum lifetime limits
  • Pre-existing conditions are covered for anyone enrolled in an ACA-compliant plan
  • Insurance companies must spend at least 80% of premiums on medical care and less than 20% on administrative costs
  • The "Marketplace" helps people compare, choose, and purchase individual/family policies
  • Essential Health Benefits are standardized for individual/family and small group plans
  • Most Americans must either have insurance coverage or pay a penalty
  • Most people can only enroll during certain times of the year
  • Insurance companies cannot deny coverage to someone with pre-existing conditions
  • Tax credits help cover the cost of coverage for some individuals (see if you might qualify for a premium tax credit that could lower the cost of your coverage)
  • There are new limits on how insurance companies can determine premiums

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