The Affordable Care Act (ACA), is a comprehensive healthcare reform law that was enacted in the United States in 2010. It aimed to increase access to affordable healthcare for millions of uninsured Americans and introduced significant changes to the insurance landscape. Here are some key ways in which the ACA changed insurance plans:
- Health Insurance Marketplaces: The ACA created health insurance marketplaces or exchanges, where individuals and small businesses can compare and purchase health insurance plans. These platforms offer different coverage levels and subsidies to assist lower-income individuals in affording insurance.
- Dependent Coverage: The ACA allows young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans until the age of 26.
- No Annual or Lifetime Limits: Annual and lifetime dollar limits on essential health benefits was eliminated.
- Preventive Services: The ACA mandated that insurance plans cover preventive services, such as vaccinations, screenings, and contraceptive methods, without requiring copayments or deductibles.
- Pre-existing Conditions: The increase of premiums and denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions is prohibited.