The Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act, enacted in 2010, has three main goals:
- Make affordable health insurance available to more people.
- Expand the Medicaid program to cover all adults with income below 139% of the federal poverty level.
- 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 and our toolkit here.