Health Reform

The Affordable Care Act

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare, is a federal statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. The ACA primarily affects people who donít have health coverage or who buy their own coverage because it is not available from their employer or a public program such as Medicare or Medicaid.

A lot of changes went into effect that changed health coverage for individuals and families:

  • Most people are required to have minimum essential coverage or pay a penalty

  • Insurance companies can’t deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions

  • Washington Healthplanfinder opened - the stateís online health insurance marketplace to shop for coverage

  • Federal tax credits help to pay for premiums for coverage purchased through Washington Healthplanfinder

  • Medicaid (Apple Health) expanded to provide coverage to more people