Affordable Care Act: Everything You Must Know 

If you are here to know about ACA, that is, the Affordable Care Act, then stick till the end of this blog. 

Affordable Care Act

Affordable Care Act

Let’s start with what is ACA? It is a comprehensive healthcare reform signed into law by President Barack Obama in the year 2010. 

Formally referred to as the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act—and simply Obamacare—this law particularly includes a wide range of health-related provisions. The only intention of this law is to extend health insurance coverage to millions of uninsured American citizens

The Act expanded Medicaid eligibility, designed health insurance exchanges, and avoided insurance firms from refusing coverage (or charging more) because of pre-existing conditions. 

The act even allows children to remain on their parents’ insurance plans until the age of 26.

Understanding ACA Clearly!

The Affordable Care Act was created to cut down the total expense of health insurance coverage for qualified individuals. 

The act includes premium tax credits as well as expense-sharing reductions to aid lower costs for lower-income people as well as families.

Premium tax credits typically lower a person’s health insurance bill every month. Expense-sharing reductions ultimately lower his or her out-of-pocket expenses for deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. 

They can even lower your out-of-pocket maximum—the total cost you pay in a year for covered health costs.

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Every ACA-compliant health insurance plan—including plans that are sold on the Health Insurance Marketplace—should cover particular “necessary health benefits” such as:

  • Ambulatory patient services
  • Breastfeeding
  • Emergency services
  • Family planning
  • Hospitalization
  • Laboratory services
  • Mental health and substance use disorder services
  • Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care
  • Prescription medications
  • Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
  • Pediatric services
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services

In addition to this, the Affordable Care Act needs most insurance plans (such as those sold on the Marketplace) to provide coverage at no cost to policyholders a list of preventive services. 

These services mainly include checkups, patient counseling, immunizations, and various health screenings.

Special Consideration

A considerable portion of the Affordable Care Act was an individual mandate, a provision asking all American citizens to acquire healthcare coverage—either from an employer or through the ACA or another source—or accept rising harsh tax penalties. 

This mandate gave out the double purpose of providing healthcare to uninsured Americans and making sure that there’s a sufficiently broad pool of insured people to support health-insurance payouts.

In the year 2017, in his very first executive order after taking office, President Donald Trump highlighted his intention to defund the Affordable Care Act. He even said that the executive agency heads must delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the Act that will impose a fiscal burden on any State.

The aim of this order signaled the initial phase of Republican efforts to reverse and replace the ACA.

Rolling back the law was one of Trump’s central campaign promises that had the purpose of cutting down the fiscal burden on the government.

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In the year 2017, the government’s attempts to repeal the law completely were not successful. But the government significantly scaled back its outreach plan to aid Americans to sign up for the ACA as well as cut the enrollment period in half.

Numerous amendments were made to the law that addressed some of the objections that were raised by various opponents. They still kept the Marketplace open active for every user. 

For instance, as part of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, Congress in the year 2017 eliminated the penalty for not acquiring health insurance. 

Starting with 2019 taxes, the individual mandate was cut down to zero dollars, necessarily cutting down the requirement that numerous Republicans had opposed.

By the year 2018, the number of American citizens covered under the ACA severely dropped from 17.8 in 2015 to 13.8 in 2015, as per the report from healthcare research organization KFF.

In the following year, the Trump administration said that it will consider repealing the complete Affordable Care Act.

In a letter, the Justice Department told the federal appeals court that it agreed with a federal judge in Texas who defined the healthcare law unconstitutional and even added that it will support the judgment on appeal.

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The aforementioned case is anticipated to go to the Supreme Court with a coalition of 21 attorneys general defending the Affordable Care Act. Besides, also in the year 2019, House Democrats presented legislation to support the Act as well as increase the coverage.