The Affordable Care Act

What is the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?

The Affordable Care Act, enacted in 2010, has three main goals: 1) make affordable health insurance available to more people; 2) expand the Medicaid program to cover all adults with income below 139% of the federal poverty level; and 3) support innovative medical care delivery methods designed to lower the costs of health care generally.



  • Maryland expanded Medicaid eligibility to adults below 139% of federal poverty level. This population receives the same Medicaid benefit package and must choose a managed care organization.
  • Individuals and families between 139-400% of federal poverty qualify for advanced tax credits which will help pay for premiums for insurance plans purchased through the health exchanges.
  • Maryland Health Connection was live for open enrollment in 2015, and assistance is available to help with enrollment in these plans.
  • Dependent children under the age of 26 will be allowed to stay on their parents’ health plans.
  • Insurance companies must spend 80% of every premium dollar on health care claims, meaning they must spend only 20% on administration or profit.

If you are having trouble understanding the effectiveness of the ACA, check out this video from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation or discover useful tools in our Resources section.