What is the Affordable Care Act?

On March 23, 2010, the federal government passed, and the President signed into law, the Affordable Care Act. This health reform law puts into effect a set of reforms to increase access to affordable health insurance for all Americans not currently covered, plus protection features for those already covered. The key features of the law include:

  • Increasing access to affordable care
  • Ending the exclusions for children with pre-existing conditions
  • Keeping young adults on their parent's insurance plan through age 26
  • Stopping insurance companies from cancelling your coverage for an honest mistake
  • Guaranteeing your right to appeal an insurance plan’s denial of payment
  • Ending lifetime limits on all new coverage plans
  • Reviewing premium increases
  • Guaranteeing your premium costs must be spent primarily on health care—not administrative costs
  • Covering preventive care at no cost to you
  • Protecting your choice of doctors
  • Protecting your choice of emergency care services outside your plan's network


Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act programs is November 1, 2015, to January 31, 2016, and coverage can begin as early as January 1, 2016. More information is available regarding the Affordable Care Act programs and open enrollment by visiting healthcare.gov.

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