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What is the Affordable Care Act?

What is the Affordable Care Act?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the health reform legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in March, 2010. The ACA is the most significant overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system since the 1960s. It was enacted to expand access to health care and curb U.S. health care spending.

What Do the Major Provisions of the Affordable Care Act Address?

  • Extend health care coverage to millions of uninsured Americans
  • Lower health care costs
  • Mandate employers of a certain size to offer coverage to their employees (or pay a penalty).
  • Mandate that most individuals have coverage
  • Eliminate denial of coverage due to pre-existing conditions
  • Allow young adults under 25 to be covered by their parent’s health plan

Who Does the Affordable Care Act Affect?

The ACA imposes a shared responsibility mandate, which requires most U.S. citizens and legal residents to have minimum essential health coverage or pay an excise tax. All individual and group plans must offer insurance to all eligible applicants regardless of health status, medical condition or prior medical expenses.

How does the ACA affect pre-existing conditions?

In the past, insurers used pre-existing medical condition provisions to deny coverage for care related to the condition (pre-existing condition policy exclusion), increased the premium to cover the condition, or denied coverage altogether. Since Jan. 1, 2014, the ACA prohibits insurers in group markets and individual markets (with the exception of grandfathered individual plans) from imposing pre-existing condition exclusions.

What are other names for the Affordable Care Act?

The official name of president Obama’s health reform legislation is “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” In addition to ACA, the Affordable Care Act is sometimes referred to as Health Insurance Reform or just Healthcare Reform.

To learn more about how your business may be impacted by the Affordable Care Act contact Ted Ginsburg at 440-449-6800 or

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