What the heck is the Affordable Care Act?
We could get all technical and boring here, but in short, The Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as “Obamacare,” was put into effect by President Obama on March 23, 2010, with the desire to make insurance more accessible and affordable to Americans. Major advances under the Affordable Care Act include:
- Ending the practice of denying people health insurance coverage for a preexisting condition.
- Enabling people under the age of 26 to get health insurance through their parents’ coverage.
- Covering preventative doctor appointments at no cost to the patient.
- Guaranteeing the right to appeal.
- Ending lifetime limits on coverage.
- Ending insurers ability to withdraw your coverage.
While we’re at it, what’s the Health Insurance Exchange?
The Health Insurance Marketplace, a.k.a Health Exchanges or HealthCare.gov (so many alter egos!), was established with the passing of the Affordable Care Act in order to provide Americans with ability to purchase insurance in their state. Even though they’re the government, they’re really just a broker selling the same health insurance plans, with the same price, you can buy anywhere else. The only difference between buying on the Exchange vs. elsewhere is that you can apply for subsidies. However, most folks won’t get enough savings to justify the hassle of dealing with the site.