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Obamacare: the Affordable Care Act and you

Articles to help you understand your coverage under the ACA

Your options if you miss OEP.

Miss open enrollment? You’ve got options.

Open enrollment for 2018 ran from November 1, 2017 to December 15, 2017 in most states. Outside of those dates, enrollment on and off the… Read more

Adding a child to a family is a qualifying event.

Qualifying events that can get you coverage

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

Uncle Sam wants you to buy health insurance.

Will you owe a penalty under Obamacare?

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

Moving to a new state but keeping your health coverage.

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

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

President Obama with staff.

Will you receive an Obamacare premium subsidy?

The ACA's premium subsidies are still available, and are much larger than they were in the first few years of ACA implementation. But many… Read more

About ACA cost-sharing subsidies.

The ACA’s cost-sharing subsidies

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

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

How immigrants are getting health coverage

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

No family left behind.

No family left behind by Obamacare

Somewhere between two million and six million people are impacted by the family glitch. They are disproportionately lower-income, because… Read more

2018 Obamacare ACA Subsidy Calculator

2019 Obamacare subsidy calculator

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

Mom, dad and new baby.

How Obamacare changed maternity coverage

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

Not everyone who doesn't have health insurance end ups having to pay a penalty; here's a round-up of individual mandate exemptions.

Obamacare penalty exemptions

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

Individual health insurance also means family.

Individual health insurance under Obamacare

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

Coop health plans under the ACA.

CO-OP health plans: patients’ interests first

As of July 2018, only four of the original 23 CO-OPs were still operational. The other CO-OPs have failed for a variety of reasons,… Read more

Without the Affordable Care Act, we'd still have 45 million people without health insurance, including a significant number of people with behavioral health problems. And health plans would still be able to deny applications based on medical history, and sell plans that didn't cover behavioral health treatment at all.

How Obamacare improved mental health coverage

Without the ACA, we'd still have 45 million people without health insurance, including a significant number of people with behavioral… Read more

Deducting health insurance on 1040.

Self-employed health insurance deduction

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

Here's a quick primer on the most logical and obvious coverage options that will help ensure recent college graduates can avoid a health insurance coverage gap.

5 ways to stay insured after college graduation

Here's a quick primer on the most logical and obvious coverage options that will help ensure recent college graduates can avoid a health… Read more

Student health insurance.

Student health insurance: required reading

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

Healthcare insurance doesn't have to break the bank: ACA's subsidies don't help everyone with individual health coverage, but a few strategies improve the likelihood of your eligibility for huge savings .

Healthcare insurance doesn’t have to break the bank

The answer is that affordable health coverage is out there and is possible – if you don't overlook some obvious strategies that will… Read more

Top states giving Obamacare rebates.

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

Ever since 2012, millions of Americans have received rebates from their health insurers each fall, refunding portions of prior-year… Read more

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

How to avoid the surprise of health plan ‘mapping’

If you don't return to the exchange to select your coverage for 2018, you could be in for an alarming surprise: an entirely different plan… Read more

Why Trump's move on CSRs is significant.

10 reasons cost-sharing reductions are YUGE news

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

Self-employed woman.

Health insurance gains for the self-employed

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

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’

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?

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

Losing your job, consider COBRA.

Do you still need COBRA health coverage?

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

Shopping healthcare.gov.

The federal exchange option

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

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

The Obamacare coverage gap.

Is it possible to escape the coverage gap?

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

How SHOP plans help employers and employees.

How SHOP exchanges help small businesses

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

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

2016 health insurance rebates

ACA’s 2016 medical loss ratio rebates

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

2015 health insurance rebates

ACA’s 2015 medical loss ratio rebates

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

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

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

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

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

Rod Serling in the Twilight Zone.

The Obamacare penalty: facts and fiction

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?

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

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

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

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)

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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