What is the Affordable Care Act?

What is the Affordable Care Act?

November 22, 2021

In 2010, President Obama passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Its goal was to make affordable health insurance available to more Americans. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the ACA has allowed approximately 20 million individuals to gain coverage. The ACA is known as the most critical healthcare legislation in the U.S. since the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid. Here’s what you need to know about the ACA. 


Take Advantage of Open Enrollment 

The open enrollment period for 2021 starts on November 1st and ends on December 15th in most states. This period is when you can begin, end, or change your health insurance plan. You can shop for plans online on the federal marketplace or state exchange through Healthcare.gov. Remember that the only way to get a plan outside of open enrollment is to qualify for a particular enrollment reason. 


Understand Essential Services

Under the ACA, insurance plans must provide ten essential services. These include preventive and wellness visits, maternity and newborn care, mental and behavioral health treatment, and services to help those with disabilities, injuries, or chronic conditions. Lab tests, pediatric care, prescription drugs, outpatient care, emergency room services, and hospitalization are included. 


Explore Federal Subsidies

If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, you might be eligible for the ACA’s federal subsidies, including premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions. To receive a premium tax credit in 2021, you must earn between $12,760 and $51,040 as an individual or between $26,200 and $104,800 as a family of four. Cost-sharing reductions, which reduce maximum out-of-pocket costs, may be up to $8,500 for an individual and $17,100 for two or more people in 2021. 


Be Mindful of Scams

Unfortunately, there has been an uptick in deceptive health insurance plans. If you enroll in one, you might pay lower premiums than you would with an ACA plan. But you’ll have very minimal coverage in the event of an emergency or severe illness. To properly vet plans, be sure to start your search on Healthcare.gov instead of a Google search.


Avoid Auto-Renewal

In most states, the state will automatically renew your health coverage at the next year’s premium rates. By relying on auto-renewal, you may pay more than previously for the same plan. Even if you want to keep your health insurance plan for the next year, it’s worth your time to log into your account and find out what your cost for 2022 will be. 


Consult Your Financial Professional

Together we can review your financial situation and determine how the ACA applies to your unique situation. Contact us today to get started. 


Important Disclosures:

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

This article was prepared by FreshFinance.


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