Facts on the Affordable Care Act

  • The official name for "ObamaCare" is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). It is also commonly referred to as Obama care, health care reform, or the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 
  • The Affordable Care Act was signed into law to reform the health care industry by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010 and upheld by the Supreme Court on June 28, 2012.
  • ObamaCare's goal is to give more Americans access to affordable, quality health insurance, and to reduce the growth in health care spending in the U.S. 
  • The Affordable Care Act expands the affordability, quality, and availability of private and public health insurance through consumer protections, regulations, subsidies, taxes, insurance exchanges, and other reforms.
  • “ObamaCare” does not replace private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.  It doesn't regulate your health care, it regulates health insurance and some of the worst practices of the for-profit health care industry. 
  • The Affordable Care Act offers a number of new benefits, rights and protections including provisions that let young adults stay on their plan until age 26, eliminate life-time and annual limits, give you the right to a rapid appeal of insurance company decisions, expand coverage to tens of millions, subsidize health insurance costs, and require all insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions.
  • The Affordable Care Act offers benefits, rights and protections, new benefits, rights and protections.  The revisions include Ten Essential Health Benefits including emergency care, hospitalization, prescription drugs, maternity, and newborn care.  The Essential Health Benefits must be included on all non-grandfathered plans with no annual or lifetime dollar limits.  In addition to the Essential Health Benefits medical plans offer free preventive services including yearly check-ups, immunizations, counseling, and screenings.  Preventive services must be included on all non-grandfathered plans at no out-of-pocket cost.
  • Many of ObamaCare's numerous provisions have already been enacted. The rest of the program starts in 2013-2014 and continues to roll out until 2022.
  • The Affordable Care Act includes new taxes. Most new taxes are on high-earners, large businesses, and the healthcare industry. However, there are some tax related provisions every American should be aware of: Tax Credits to subsidize costs for low-to-middle income Americans and small businesses starting 2014, an Employer Mandate for large employers to provide health insurance to full-time employees by 2015, an Individual Mandate for individuals and families to obtain health insurance by 2014, and lastly new limits to medical deductions.  In exchange for the new rights and protections most Americans must obtain health coverage by 2014, get an exemption, or pay a fee. • The CBO estimates that in 2016, after the major provisions of health care reform are implemented, 24 million people will be exempted from the Individual Mandate. In most cases if you don't think you can afford health insurance, you may be exempt and eligible for cost assistance.
  • ObamaCare creates State specific health insurance marketplaces (also known as exchanges) where individuals, families and small businesses can shop for subsidized health insurance and find out if they qualify for Medicaid, CHIP or Medicare. NOTE: If you have coverage through work, you are not eligible for a subsidy. 
  • Americans making less than $45,960 as individual or $94,200 as a family of 4 may be eligible for free or low-cost health insurance due to cost assistance subsidies like Tax Credits that reduce premium costs and cost sharing subsidies that lower cost sharing on copays, coinsurance and deductibles.
  • Over 15 million men, women and children will be eligible for Medicaid in State's that participate in Medicaid Expansion.
  • The 2013 Federal Poverty Guidelines are used to determine cost assistance on the marketplace.
  • Cost assistance is only offered through State's Health Insurance Marketplace (New York State of Health).