Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), 16.4 million more people in the United States have health insurance, though 13.2 percent of the population is still uninsured. Here’s eight other interesting facts about the ACA in 2015, post King v. Burwell.
- The ACA guarantees Americans and permanent legal residents the right to buy health insurance, regardless of whether they have a pre-existing condition; and it forbids insurers from cutting people’s coverage off if they get sick. Undocumented immigrants and legal immigrants in the US for 5 years or less are not eligible for coverage.
- The ACA requires insurers to offer “minimum essential health insurance coverage” to everyone who they insure, including mental health care, prescription drugs, having a baby, as well as a range of preventive services with no copay or deductible.
- The ACA requires insurers to charge everyone the same rate for the same policy based on their age, regardless of their health status. Also, your out-of-pocket costs must be capped. And, it limits the amount that insurers can profit off the premiums they charge.
- The ACA requires everyone eligible for coverage to have coverage, although people can go without coverage if they pay a penalty (2% of income or $325, whichever is higher, 2015).
- The ACA requires every state to have a health insurance exchange, a marketplace through which people without insurance from their jobs and small businesses can buy insurance. Either the state can establish the exchange itself or the federal government can establish the exchange for the state. The exchange, which can be accessed online, allows people to compare the costs and benefits of the health plans available to them.
- The ACA provides a subsidy—help paying for coverage through a state’s health insurance exchange—for anyone with income up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, $47,080 for an individual. If you’d like to know whether you’re eligible for a subsidy and the amount, click here. In the 30 states (including Washington DC) that opted to expand Medicaid, people with incomes under 138 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for it, $16,242 for an individual and $27,724 for a family of three. About 3.7 million nonelderly adults in states that opted not to expand Medicaid fall into a coverage gap.
- The ACA allows parents with health care coverage through their jobs to include coverage for their children until they turn 26.
- The ACA requires chain restaurants to list calories on their menus.
If you still have questions, you can call the government at 1-800-318-2596.