The Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. It is better known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or its nickname, Obamacare. the aca significantly changed the healthcare system in the united states. by reducing the amount that individuals and families pay for uncompensated care. The law requires all Americans to have health insurance and provides assistance to those who cannot afford a plan.
Because the law affects so many Americans, it helps to understand the history of obamacare and how it affects you and your family. You can also learn more about your options for ACA-compliant health insurance plans with eHealth today. our specialized brokers will help you find the right plan for you and your family. all ehealth services are available at no cost to you and you can purchase your plan online, by phone, or through our chat.
what is the affordable care act?
The Affordable Care Act is a reform of the health care law. It was referred to in the news as the Obamacare Act, named after the sitting president at the time. The timeline of the Affordable Care Act’s history begins with its three goals. These are affordability, health care that is innovative, and the expansion of Medicaid.
the main purpose of the aca was to ensure that all Americans could afford a health insurance plan. this allowed families whose income placed them at the poverty level to pay their health insurance premium. this is done in the form of issued tax credits.
The use of new methods of health care has made coverage more affordable for everyone. Similarly, the expansion of Medicaid means that people who were previously ineligible for the plan are now eligible.
obamacare projections vs. actual data
1 mercatus center: http://mercatus.org/publication/downgrading-affordable-care-act-aca-unattractive-health-insurance-and-lower-enrollment2 kaiser family foundation: evaluating enrollment in the aca market http:// kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/assessing-aca-marketplace-enrollment/3 cbo forecast: budget and economic outlook: 2017 to 2027
when did obamacare start?
The timeline of key events leading up to the passage of the obamacare law began in 2009. Here is a list of those events, along with the key provisions that took effect after the law was enacted.
- July 2009: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a group of House Democrats unveil their plan to overhaul the health care system. it’s called h.r. 3962, the affordable healthcare act for the united states.
- August 25, 2009: massachusetts senator ted kennedy, a leading proponent of health care reform, dies, putting Democrats’ 60-seat supermajority at risk in the Senate necessary to pass a law.
- September 24, 2009: Democrat Paul Kirk is appointed acting senator from Massachusetts, temporarily restoring Democrats’ 60th vote filibuster-proof.
- November 7, 2009: In the House of Representatives, 219 Democrats and one Republican voted for the Affordable Care for America Act, and 39 Democrats and 176 Republicans voted against it .
- December 24, 2009: In the Senate, 60 Democrats vote for the Senate’s version of the bill, called America’s Healthy Future Act, whose main author is Senator max baucus from california. thirty-nine republicans vote against the bill and one republican senator, jim bunning, does not vote.
- january 2010: in the senate, scott brown, a republican, wins the special election in massachusetts to finish the remaining term of us senator ted kennedy, a democrat. Brown campaigned hard against the health care law and won an upset victory in a state that always votes Democratic.
- In January 2010, ehealth published research by opinion research highlighting public perceptions of health care reform.
- March 11, 2010: Now short of the 60th vote needed to pass the bill, Senate Democrats decide to use budget reconciliation to get the House and Senate Senate pass a bill. using budget reconciliation only requires 51 senators to vote in favor of the bill for it to go to the president’s desk for signature.
- March 21, 2010: The Senate’s version of the health plan passes the House in a vote of 219-212. all Republicans and 34 Democrats vote against the plan.
- March 23, 2010: President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act into law.
- March 23, 2010: Anyone who had already purchased a health insurance plan by this date had a “grandfathered” plan. the grandfather clause allowed current plans to stay the same as long as his insurer continued to offer that plan.
- March 23, 2010: Anyone who purchased a health insurance plan after March 23, 2010 would eventually have to enroll in a new plan that met all of the new standards in the federal law. affordable care. the original deadline for this transition was January 1, 2014 or a plan’s renewal date within the 2014 plan year.
- April 7, 2010: ehealth publishes a list of frequently asked questions and tips for consumers and small business owners who buy their own health insurance.
- June 23, 2010:
- Some small businesses qualified for tax credits of up to 35% of premiums.
- Five billion dollars were allocated for people who couldn’t qualify for insurance. these funds enabled them to purchase government insurance instead.
- A temporary reinsurance program was established to reimburse participating employment-based plans for a portion of the cost of providing health insurance coverage to early retirees.
- July 1, 2010:
- the pre-existing condition insurance plan (pcip) was designed to make health insurance available to those for whom health insurance companies private insurance denied them coverage because of a pre-existing condition. see more in forbes report: obamacare high-risk group spending doubles government estimates.
- September 14, 2010: ehealth publishes a list of frequently asked questions, including the following timeline for the enactment of key changes. note that some of these components changed during the implementation of here.
- September 23, 2010 (within six months of aca enactment):
- Seniors are entitled to a $250 rebate for close the medicare part d coverage gap.
- a government website is created to allow people to search for information about health insurance companies, available plans, and other essential information.
- Insurers cannot exclude pre-existing conditions from coverage for children.
- October 19, 2010: ehealth publishes the first in a series of resources to help uninsured children navigate differences in individual states.
- A provision goes into effect to protect patients’ choice of doctors. Details include allowing plan members to choose any participating primary care provider, prohibiting insurers from requiring prior authorization before a woman sees an obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN), and ensuring access to emergency care.
- Young adults can stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26, even if they’re not a full-time student. this extension applies to all new plans.
- All new health insurance policies must cover preventive care and pay a portion of all preventive care visits.
- A provision goes into effect that removes lifetime limits on coverage for members.
- Annual limits or maximum payments from a health insurance company are now restricted by the aca.
- the aca prohibits termination when a claim is filed, except in the case of fraud or misrepresentation by the consumer.
- Insurance companies must now provide a process for customers to file an appeal if there is a problem with their coverage.
changes required by the affordable care act in 2011
Note: As of January 2011: ehealth publishes 11 guides on the best health insurance coverage just for children that examine differences in implementation across numerous states.
changes required by the Affordable Care Act in 2014
- January 2014: People who buy insurance on their own get subsidies to help them pay their monthly insurance premiums. premiums are assigned on a sliding scale, determined by income. any individual earning more than 400% of the poverty level ($43,320 in 2009) does not qualify for the subsidies.
- January 2014: When health insurance exchanges are operational, small business tax credits are up to 50% of premiums.
- January 2014: Insurance companies are required to provide health insurance to any adult age 19-64 who applies for coverage.
- January 2014: To prevent people from waiting until they get sick to buy health insurance, the aca requires all Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. the penalty starts at $95 for a person in 2014 and increases each year through 2016, when the penalty is $695 or 2.5% of a person’s annual income, whichever is greater.
- January 2014: pre-existing condition insurance plans (pcips), established in 2010, are scheduled to expire on January 1, 2014, once all major reforms take effect of the law here.
- January 2011: In 2011, insurance companies had to guarantee the value of premium payments. If insurance companies did not spend at least 80% to 85% of premiums on care (for individual, small group, and large group markets), the difference is sent to customers as a refund.
- January 2011: a Florida judge rules that elements of the Affordable Care Act are unconstitutional.
- November 14, 2011: The united states supreme court agrees to hear arguments in the obamacare case brought by 26 states and the national federation of independent business. argues that elements of the affordable care law are unconstitutional.
- June 28, 2012: The United States Supreme Court upholds major provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
- August 2012: white house upholds aca’s “contraceptive mandate” for no-cost-share preventive services for women: hiv screening, contraceptive counseling, and violence support services domestic.
- November 6, 2012: President Obama is re-elected, effectively ensuring that ACA will survive.
- January 2013: Pre-tax contributions to flexible spending accounts are capped at $2,500 annually.
- July 2, 2013: The white house agrees to a one-year delay for big companies to provide workers with affordable health care.
- October 1, 2013: healthcare.gov, the federal exchange serving 36 states, experiences technical difficulties and eventually goes offline before reopening on December 2, 2013.
- October 1, 2013: Several state exchanges experience enrollment hurdles, including exchanges in California, Oregon, Washington, and Maryland. ultimately some work better than others.
- November 26, 2013: Eight Democratic senators tell the Obama administration they are “concerned about ongoing technical difficulties” with healthcare.gov and want an alternative way for insurers and web-based brokers to enroll eligible consumers for subsidies.
- December 2, 2013: healthcare.gov, the federal exchange serving 36 states, reopens after experiencing technical difficulties and eventually going offline for several weeks.
- January 1, 2014: Most of the remaining regulatory changes in the Affordable Care Act go into effect.
- January 2014: health affairs released its most recent analysis of the medical loss ratio performance of major insurers.
- march 2014: the new york times reports that the us. The Census Bureau, the authoritative source of health insurance data, changed its annual survey so thoroughly that it became difficult to measure the effects of President Obama’s health care law.
- March 6, 2014: The federal government extends the two-year grace period for people enrolled in non-grandfathered health insurance plans.
- May 1, 2014: the us department of health and human services announces that more than 8 million people enrolled in a health insurance plan during the first open enrollment period (oep).
- March 4, 2015: us. The Supreme Court (Scotus) hears oral arguments in King v. burwell, a lawsuit challenging u.s. treasury regulations, 26 c.f.r. § 1.36b-2(a)(1), issued under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). King argues that the ACA only allows grants to be distributed through state exchanges, and that the regulations implemented by the IRS exceed the authority granted to it by Congress. (Read eHealth’s white paper on King vs. Burwell.)
- June 25, 2015: the supreme court ruled 6-3 that subsidies could be distributed through healthcare.gov, the federal exchange, if a state did not establish its own exchange.
- January 1, 2016: The threshold for itemizing medical expenses in taxes increases from 7.5% to 10% for seniors.
- May 12, 2016: us. District Judge Rosemary Collyer ruled that the ACA’s cost-sharing reduction subsidies (CSRs), which pay a portion of a member’s deductibles, are not permanently funded in the legislation. this makes them appropriable, meaning they must be approved by Congress. the ruling was put on hold, pending an appeal.
- Tuesday, November 8, 2016: Donald Trump is elected to be the next President of the United States.
- November 20, 2016: vice president elect mike pence says “president elect donald trump will prioritize repealing president barack obama’s landmark health care law” from the start “once I take office.
changes required by the Affordable Care Act after 180 days
Actual events that occurred as a result of the Affordable Care Act – 2011 to 2014
what does aca mean to you
The Affordable Care Act is perhaps the biggest reform of the US health care system. uu. and will provide coverage to more than 94% of Americans. furthermore, one of its key reforms includes health coverage for adults with pre-existing conditions, which has generally not been available until now.
These big changes in health insurance can benefit you and your loved ones. however, finding the best plans at the best price is still essential to ensure your family is adequately covered.
To learn about the specific obamacare-compliant health insurance plan options available to you, as well as to see if you’re eligible for a government subsidy to help pay for a plan, compare health insurance plans that meet here with ehealth today.