What is Health Insurance Reform?
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which is also known as both the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Obamacare, was signed into law in March of 2010. The act addresses important insurance reform changes to help bring affordable health care to all Americans, and rein in costs associated with health care.
The act created an online health care marketplace, or exchange, which allows consumers to review, compare and enroll in quality health care to meet their individual or family need.
Additionally, the exchange helps you identify if you qualify for other coverage like Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Open enrollment through the new exchange began October 1, 2013, with coverage beginning January 1, 2014, although American Indians and Alaska Natives may enroll any month, regardless of the open enrollment period.
The ACA also includes many provisions to assist people who might not otherwise have access to health insurance. These include no longer being denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition, access to affordable health care not associated with their place of employment, and coverage of preventive care and other benefits which may or may not have previously been included. Additionally, insurance companies are now required to justify premium increases over 10 percent, eliminate lifetime limits on coverage, and must guarantee your right to appeal any refusal of payment.