Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplace
Providing Texans access to quality and affordable healthcare
Health Reform Legislation
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act) was signed into law in March 2010 to give Americans more security by holding insurance companies access affordable health insurance and quality medical care.
This was a huge victory for Americans nationwide and especially in Texas, which has one of the highest rates of uninsured individuals in the nation. Since 2010, the health care law has already made a difference in the lives of millions of Texans through ending discrimination for pre-existing conditions, allowing young adults to stay on their parent’s health insurance plan, scrutinizing unreasonable premium increases, removing lifetime limits on health benefits, covering preventive services with no deductible or co-pay, and more.
The 29th District of Texas has also benefited from increased access to quality and affordable health care, which is a critical need in our community. The 29th District has seen similar results.
An interactive timeline of the protections and advantages that will go into effect as a result of the Affordable Care Act can be found at www.healthcare.gov/law/timeline/index.html.
The Health Insurance Marketplace
A primary goal of the Affordable Care Act was to help uninsured individuals and families gain access to quality, affordable healthcare. The law established a Health Insurance Marketplace to allow Americans to enroll in a health plan to get health care services and coverage. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be launching the Health Insurance Marketplace this year, with open enrollment beginning October 1, 2013 and coverage beginning January 1, 2014.
Through the Health Insurance Marketplace, consumers and small businesses will be able to compare insurance options based on price, benefits, health needs and other factors with a clear picture of premiums and cost-sharing amounts - all explained in simple, easy to understand terms.
How Will This Affect Me?
• If you have job-based health insurance you like, you can keep it. In fact, with new regulations and standards, the insurance you currently have will include new consumer protections like no lifetime limits, minimum coverage standards, and limits on administrative costs.
• If your employer does not plan to offer health insurance, you may get insurance through the Marketplace. You’ll be able to apply online, on the phone, or in person, and the application process will automatically determine if you qualify for cost-sharing subsidies or tax credits. More information for individuals and families can be found here.
• If you do not have health insurance by 2014, you will have to pay for all of your health care costs and may be assessed a fee. More information on insurance that qualifies as minimum essential coverage can be found here.
• If you run a small business, you can go to the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace to find out about providing coverage for your employees. More information and resources for small businesses can be found here.
• If you have Medicare, you are already covered and do not need to make any changes.
• If you are a Member of Congress or designated congressional staff, you must obtain coverage by health plans created under the Affordable Care Act. You can find more information here.
Where Can I Find Help?
For more information on the Marketplace and enrollment, visit www.healthcare.gov or call the toll-free Health Insurance Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also stay up to date via social media at www.facebook.com/Healthcare.gov, Twitter @HealthCareGov, or watch videos like the one below at www.youtube.com/HealthCareGov.