The Affordable Care Act, often referred to as, “The ACA”, “Obama Care”, PPACA, or Healthcare Reform, was enacted and signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act included a mandate for most individuals to have health insurance or potentially pay a penalty for noncompliance. Individuals will be required to maintain minimum essential coverage for themselves and their dependents. It also reduces what families will have to pay for health care by capping out-of-pocket expenses and requiring preventive care to be fully covered without any out-of-pocket expense.
For Americans with insurance coverage who like what they have, they can keep it as long as it is still available. Nothing in this act or anywhere in the bill forces anyone to change the insurance they have. Americans without insurance coverage will be able to choose the insurance coverage that works best for them in a new open, competitive insurance market known as the Health Insurance Marketplace – the same insurance market that every member of Congress will be required to use for their insurance. It keeps insurance companies honest by setting clear rules that rein in the worst insurance industry abuses. And it bans insurance companies from denying insurance coverage because of a person’s pre-existing medical conditions.