What is the Affordable Care Act?
The goal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is to make health insurance coverage more affordable and accessible to millions of Americans, particularly for low-wage jobs that don’t normally come with health care benefits. It is a comprehensive reform that emphasizes wellness and preventive care, as well as establishes key consumer protections. The ACA assistance provisions include:
– Expanding basic health care coverage
– Providing free preventive care
– Holding insurance companies accountable for rate increases
– Lowering health care costs
– Providing more choices for coverage
Essentially, the ACA aims to enhance health care quality for all Americans.
The Key Points
The following are the key facts about the ACA that you need to be aware of:
Health insurance is a requirement for all Americans. If you don’t have a Qualified Health Plan (QHP), you will pay the penalty on your tax returns.
The ACA paved the way for the Health Insurance Marketplace. People can now shop for affordable insurance plans in one venue. Moreover, all health care plans should now include certain preventive services at no additional cost. They should also cover basic benefits and offer free preventive care.
The ACA expanded Medicaid coverage. Medicaid now provides coverage for low-income individuals (earning approximately $15,417 or less annually) and families, particularly children, pregnant women, seniors, and persons with disabilities under 65 years old. It also extends dependent child coverage to young adults under 26 years old.
Eligibility rules and coverage vary per state. Implementation of the new, health insurance coverage marketplace options depends on state participation. To date, 32 states have expanded Medicaid coverage, while 19 do not.
It’s now illegal for insurance companies to revoke coverage due to illness. Moreover, ACA requires them to cover individuals with pre-existing health conditions.
If you have further questions about the ACA, contact DECO Revenue Management.