Affordable Care Act (ACA)
The comprehensive health care reform law enacted in March 2010 (sometimes known as ACA, PPACA, or “Obamacare”).
The law has 3 primary goals:
- Make affordable health insurance available to more people. The law provides consumers with subsidies (“premium tax credits”) that lower costs for households with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level.
- Expand the Medicaid program to cover all adults with income below 138% of the federal poverty level. (Not all states have expanded their Medicaid programs.)
- Support innovative medical care delivery methods designed to lower the costs of health care generally.
Open vs. Special Enrollment
The yearly period when people can enroll in a health insurance plan is called Open Enrollment (November 1st - December 15th).
You may still be able to enroll in a Marketplace health insurance plan for 2020 if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
You’re eligible if you have certain life events, like getting married, having a baby, or losing other health coverage.
Coverage for pre-existing conditions
All Marketplace plans must cover treatment for pre-existing medical conditions.
- No insurance plan can reject you, charge you more, or refuse to pay for essential health benefits for any condition you had before your coverage started.
- Once you’re enrolled, the plan can’t deny you coverage or raise your rates based only on your health.
- Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) also can't refuse to cover you or charge you more because of your pre-existing condition.