Understanding the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

There is much confusion around the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Health Insurance Marketplace. 

Here is some information to help you understand it a bit better.

The ACA is a law that guarantees everyone with minimum essential health care coverage. You can’t be denied ACA health insurance coverage because of a pre-existing health condition and you can’t be charged more for your plan because of it. 

It’s important to know what’s required under the ACA. Here’s what you need to know as you get started:

  • Open enrollment, from November 1 to December 15 is your time to buy health insurance.
  • In some instances, you can get tax credits to help you pay for your health insurance.

Most everyone needs to have health insurance

When you’re looking for health care coverage, check the health plans you’re considering to be sure it says it meets “ACA minimum essential coverage.”

There are several ways to buy health insurance:

  • Your employer
  • Health insurance companies
  • Health Insurance Marketplaces 

Keep in mind

  • Open enrollment is your time to buy health insurance.
  • Open enrollment is a yearly time period set by the ACA. It’s your time to shop for individual health insurance and purchase a plan so you won’t pay a penalty at tax time.
  • If you miss this window of time to purchase a plan, there are some exceptions called Qualifying Life Events that let you buy a plan during a Special Enrollment Period. 

In some instances, you can get tax credits to help you pay for your health insurance

Depending on your family situation and annual income, you may be able to get a tax credit to help offset your health insurance costs. You can visit Health Care to see if you qualify for a tax credit before you start buying your plan.