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The Affordable Care Act and you

A look at your coverage options and how you can choose wisely

Uncle Sam wants you to buy health insurance.

Will you owe a penalty under Obamacare?

November 14, 2017 – If you decide not to purchase coverage and remain uninsured, you can use the calculator on this page to determine the size of the penalty… Read more

Obamacare penalty exemptions.

Obamacare penalty exemptions

November 7, 2017 – According to the IRS, 7.9 million tax filers were subject to the penalty for being uninsured in 2014, but 12.4 million were able to claim… Read more

Why Trump's move on CSRs is significant.

10 reasons cost-sharing reductions are YUGE news

October 13, 2017 – If you're like the vast majority of consumers, you may be hearing about CSRs for the first time and wondering why these subsidies are so… Read more

Should you look outside the ACA’s exchanges?

September 10, 2017 – The consumer protections in the ACA apply to all new individual policies, regardless of whether the coverage is sold in the exchange /… Read more

Coop health plans under the ACA.

CO-OP health plans: patients’ interests first

August 27, 2017 – As of July 2017, only six of the original 23 CO-OPs were still operational. And just four of those intend to offer coverage for 2018. The… Read more

Obamacare subsidy calculator.

2018 Obamacare subsidy calculator

August 25, 2017 – An impressive 85 percent of Americans shopping in the exchanges receive subsidies. If you're worried about the cost of premiums, use our… Read more

Top states giving Obamacare rebates.

Billions in ACA rebates show 80/20 Rule’s impact

August 2, 2017 – Over the next few months, you could be receiving a nice rebate check from your health insurance. Last year, nearly 1,600 people in Hawaii… Read more

Your options if you miss OEP.

Miss open enrollment? You’ve got options.

June 29, 2017 – Open enrollment for 2018 will run from November 1, 2017 to December 15, 2017. Outside of those dates, enrollment on and off the exchange is… Read more

Adding a child to a family is a qualifying event.

Qualifying events that can get you coverage

April 18, 2017 – Even if you missed the general open enrollment, you could still have an opportunity to enroll in an ACA-compliant plan this year if you… Read more

About ACA cost-sharing subsidies.

The ACA’s cost-sharing subsidies

April 11, 2017 – While the Affordable Care Act's premium subsidies help pay the cost of the health insurance itself, cost-sharing subsidies help to reduce… Read more

Deducting health insurance on 1040.

Self-employed health insurance deduction 2016

April 3, 2017 – It's important for the self-employed to know all the ways they can save a few dollars here and there. One obvious place to look is on their… Read more

Give me your tired, your poor -- Statue of Liberty.

How immigrants are getting health coverage

January 18, 2017 – Let’s take a look at the health insurance options for immigrants, and how they’ve changed – or haven’t changed – under the… Read more

President Obama with staff.

Will you receive an Obamacare premium subsidy?

January 1, 2017 – 2017 is the fourth year that Obamacare subsidies have been available, and awareness of the law's premium tax credits (subsidies) continues… Read more

Self-employed woman.

Health insurance gains for the self-employed

December 12, 2016 – The self-employed have historically faced a set of unique challenges in finding and keeping health insurance. But the Affordable Care Act… Read more

High risk health pools.

Health insurance and high-risk pools

November 14, 2016 – Now that the consumer protections in the ACA have been fully implemented, risk pools are no longer necessary the way they were in the past.… Read more

Beware the subsidy cliff!

Beware Obamacare’s ‘subsidy cliff’

October 17, 2016 – If you're facing a subsidy cliff, you may want to talk with an accountant to see if there's anything you can do to lower your modified… Read more

Premium subsidies are not going away.

Can you count on your Obamacare subsidy?

September 15, 2016 – So let's revisit the question: Can you count on your Obamacare subsidies? In short, yes. Regardless of what you've heard about Obamcare —… Read more

Will your health insurance company "map" you to a new plan?

How to avoid the surprise of health plan ‘mapping’

August 19, 2016 – If you don't return to the exchange to select your coverage for 2017, you could be in for an alarming surprise: an entirely different plan… Read more

Individual health insurance also means family.

Individual health insurance under Obamacare

August 18, 2016 – If you are self employed, or if your employer does not offer health insurance, you'll likely turn to the private market to purchase an… Read more

Losing your job, consider COBRA.

Do you still need COBRA health coverage?

August 18, 2016 – The combination of COBRA and the ACA present a solid array of options for people who are losing their employer-sponsored health insurance.… Read more

No family left behind.

No family left behind by Obamacare

August 18, 2016 – Somewhere between two million and four million people are impacted by the family glitch. They are disproportionately lower-income, because… Read more

Shopping healthcare.gov.

The federal exchange option

August 16, 2016 – By March 2016, effectuated enrollment across the 38 states using the Healthcare.gov enrollment platform stood at 8.4 million people. And 85… Read more

The essential benefits are the heart of Obamacare.

Obamacare’s essential health benefits

August 16, 2016 – Since 2014, all individual health insurance sold in and out of the ACA's exchanges – whether to individuals or to small firms with fewer… Read more

Mom, dad and new baby.

How Obamacare changed maternity coverage

August 16, 2016 – Before the ACA made coverage guaranteed issue, pregnancy itself was considered a pre-existing condition that would prevent an expectant… Read more

The Obamacare coverage gap.

Is it possible to escape the coverage gap?

August 15, 2016 – For healthy individuals in the coverage gap, one of the most obvious options is short-term health insurance. If you’re eligible, a… Read more

Moving to a new state but keeping your health coverage.

How to keep your health insurance when you move to another state

July 15, 2016 – What happens to individual health insurance coverage when a policyholder moves to a new state? The answer depends on the carrier, and on… Read more

Student health insurance.

Student health insurance: required reading

June 2, 2016 – Clearly, students have a lot more coverage options as a result of the ACA. But how do you decide which option is… Read more

How SHOP plans help employers and employees.

How SHOP exchanges help small businesses

February 10, 2016 – The unprecedented advantages offered by ACA's SHOP exchanges truly make the law a game changer when it comes to making small businesses… Read more

Basic health programs.

Affordable Care Act’s Basic Health Program

November 18, 2015 – The Basic Health Program was originally scheduled to begin January 1, 2014, but was postponed until 2015. And so far, only two states have… Read more

2015 health insurance rebates

ACA’s 2015 medical loss ratio rebates

September 30, 2015 – The Affordable Care Act's requirement that health insurance companies spend 80 percent of your premium dollars on actual health care –… Read more

Navigating health insurance job lock.

How Obamacare’s breaking the bonds of job lock

September 14, 2015 – No one has to be stuck in a dead-end job just to keep their health insurance. Thanks to the ACA, anyone can enroll in coverage through the… Read more

Protect yourself from predators.

Avoid scams while shopping for insurance

August 27, 2015 – The ACA was signed into law in 2010, and almost immediately, scammers began looking for ways to make a quick… Read more

Same sex marriage or as we say in Minnesota, "marriage."

Marriage equality delivers equal insurance access

July 16, 2015 – One more reason to celebrate: Getting married is now a qualifying life event for same-sex… Read more

LGBT and health insurance.

Obamacare takes huge steps toward LGBT equality

June 26, 2015 – "In states without non-discrimination policies, the Affordable Care Act is your non-discrimination protection. It means LGBT people can't… Read more

Keeping health coverage post college.

How to keep health coverage after college

June 10, 2015 – Even with graduation behind them, many college grads still have valuable lessons to learn about being a grown-up – and one of them is how… Read more

Rod Serling in the Twilight Zone.

The Obamacare penalty: facts and fiction

February 6, 2015 – Louise Norris talks with Andrew Sprung about the penalty consumers might face if they do not adhere to the Affordable Care Act’s… Read more

Grandmothers health plans.

Grandmothered plans: love ’em or leave ’em?

January 28, 2015 – Louise Norris explains grandmothered health plans: how they differ from grandfathered health plans, which states allow you to renew your… Read more

Desperately seeking cost-sharing reductions.

Desperately seeking cost-sharing reductions

December 18, 2014 – In this segment, Louise Norris and fellow healthinsurance.org contributor Andrew Sprung explain the value of cost-sharing reduction (CSR)… Read more

Exercise caution.

A look at Obamacare plan renewal options

December 12, 2014 – As part of our continuing coverage of the 2014-2015 Obamacare open enrollment period, we recently published a 38-page eBook, The Insider's… Read more

Bronze health insurance plans?

For whom the (Bronze) bell tolls

November 21, 2014 – Does it in fact make sense for anyone to buy a Bronze plan? A plan with a $5,000 or $6,000 deductible may save a person with at least… Read more

What you don't know CAN hurt you.

What you don’t know can’t help you (save money)

October 29, 2014 – Open enrollment starts on November 15, but 89 percent of uninsured Americans don’t know that. Two-thirds of the uninsured population… Read more

2014 health insurance rebates

ACA’s 2014 medical loss ratio rebates

September 30, 2014 – The Affordable Care Act's requirement that health insurance companies spend 80 percent of your premium dollars on actual health care –… Read more

Women's health plan needs.

Women and health insurance

July 25, 2014 – For women in the US, health insurance has come a very long way in the last few years, thanks in large part to the dramatic improvements and… Read more

Cancer insurance.

Will you need a cancer insurance policy?

July 18, 2014 – While the Affordable Care Act has greatly expanded coverage for millions of Americans – people with cancer cannot be denied coverage or… Read more

Make the most of your coverage.

Getting the most from your new insurance

January 11, 2014 – The media have focused on the cost of the monthly premium. How much would you contribute per month on the various plans and would you get a… Read more

Seeing clearly when evaluating insurance companies.

Evaluating health insurance companies

October 1, 2013 – Before you start seeking health insurance quotes, it's prudent to take a look at the health insurance companies and their potential service… Read more

2013 health insurance rebates

ACA’s 2013 medical loss ratio rebates

September 30, 2013 – The Affordable Care Act's requirement that health insurance companies spend 80 percent of your premium dollars on actual health care –… Read more

The difference between marketplaces.

Know your health insurance exchanges

September 23, 2013 – The ACA-created health insurance exchanges will be up and running in days, and while anticipation is running high, so is confusion. If… Read more

Wondering about health insurance exchanges.

What is a health insurance exchange?

August 20, 2013 – Health insurance exchanges are set to launch across the United States on October 1 and bring radical change to how people shop for and buy… Read more

Shopping the Obamacare exchanges.

Shopping in the exchanges: what to expect

August 20, 2013 – Ever since the ACA was signed into law in 2010, "exchange" has been a buzz word in health care reform. But there's still plenty of… Read more

Protecting consumers who buy health coverage.

Consumer protections under the ACA

August 20, 2013 – The health reform law did many other things besides mandate the creation of state health insurance exchanges – also known as health… Read more

2012 health insurance rebates

ACA’s 2012 medical loss ratio rebates

September 30, 2012 – The Affordable Care Act's requirement that health insurance companies spend 80 percent of your premium dollars on actual health care –… Read more

A burning health insurance policy.

Time to dump your health insurance plan?

June 14, 2012 – The sad truth is that any number of factors can change with your health insurance coverage after you've enrolled, and you shouldn't… Read more

How to buy health insurance.

How to buy health insurance

January 30, 2012 – Buying health insurance can be complicated, but like a lot of things, it's easier if you break the job into smaller tasks and work your way… Read more

Deadly recession.

Reform promises end to deadly rescissions

June 2, 2011 – Industry practices that result in health policy cancellations may soon come to an end, thanks to health reform regulations that prohibit… Read more

Private health insurance.

Private health insurance

September 29, 2010 – Private health insurance continues to dominate the U.S. health care landscape. The majority of Americans under 65 continue to get their… Read more

Getting the uninsured covered.

Reducing the number of uninsured

September 29, 2010 – For many Americans, getting off the rolls of the uninsured is a simple matter of getting information about coverage that's already… Read more