Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Finding affordable health insurance can feel difficult, but it doesn't have to be with Direct Auto & Life Insurance on your side. Follow along as we break down the basic information you need to know in order to understand one of the most talked about pieces of healthcare legislation, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and how it could impact your family.

What is the Affordable Care Act?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is typically referred to as the Affordable Care Act or its nickname Obamacare, became law in 2010. The idea behind it? Lower the cost of health care and make sure all Americans can get health insurance. Stretched over 2,409 pages, the ACA outlines changes to health insurance, Medicaid, and how healthcare is delivered.

As the law relates to health insurance, there are three basic items to note:

  1. You cannot be turned down for coverage because you have an illness.
  2. Everyone is required to have coverage.
  3. People who have trouble affording coverage can get help paying for it.

What if I already have health insurance?

Good question. If you had health insurance prior to the ACA, you can still be impacted. Depending on your coverage and situation, the ACA may have improved your family's health insurance in the following ways, per The Balance:  

1) Got adult children? They can stay on your plan up to age 26. 
2) When someone in your family gets sick, the insurance company can't drop them or limit how much insurance your family uses. 
3) Wellness and pregnancy exams are free under the ACA for most people.
4) Your rates could be more stable. Insurance companies have to get approval from the state government in order to raise rates. 

Even if you already have a health insurance plan that you're happy with, it can help to review it on a yearly basis. Why? There's always a chance that your monthly premiums may increase, your plan could get cancelled, your eligibility for subsidies could change, or your preferred doctors may no longer be in your network. A lot can change in a year! As you'll learn below, the Open Enrollment Period is a great time for everyone to review their existing health insurance coverage. Doing so could save you from surprises down the road!

And if I don't have health insurance?

The ACA requires that everyone have health insurance, but this insurance generally can't be purchased at any time of the year (unless you're applying/enrolling in Medicaid or a Children's Health Insurance Program). Most people are required to enroll in a plan during the yearly Open Enrollment Period.  

Open Enrollment Dates

2018: November 1, 2017—December 15, 2017
2019: November 1, 2018—December 15, 2018
2020: November 1, 2019—December 15, 2019

During these dates, health insurance plans can be purchased on the health insurance marketplace (or what's also referred to as "the healthcare exchange"). This is a service that helps people shop for, compare, and enroll in affordable health coverage through websites, call centers, and in-person help, writes 

When you apply for coverage through the marketplace, you'll be asked to provide income and household information. You'll find out whether you qualify for Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program, and tax credits or other savings that can make insurance more affordable. 

Get Help With Health Insurance!

Car insurance, life insurance, or health insurance: you're never alone when you choose Direct Auto & Life Insurance. Compare health insurance plans online and get free, one-on-one guidance from a licensed agent*. Just call 1-855-851-0919 today!

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Affordable Care Act (ACA)
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