More than a decade after its enactment, tens of millions of people nationwide rely on coverage options created through the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA). The law has survived multiple court challeges at the U.S. Supreme Court and repeated attempts by Republicans in Congress to repeal it. Subsequent legislation has scaled back some aspects of the law and expanded others, including by the COVID-19 relief bill, the American Response Plan Act of 2021. This page highlights relevant analysis about the ACA and proposed and enacted changes to it..
For information about ACA Marketplace Open Enrollment, including fact sheets and 300+ FAQs, visit our collection of resources on Understanding Health Insurance.
Featured Affordable Care Act Resources
A summary of 10 of the major health coverage and financing provisions of the current Build Back Better Act, with discussion of the potential implications for people and the federal budget.
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Related Affordable Care Act Resources
- 5 Charts About Public Opinion on the Affordable Care Act
- A Closer Look at the Uninsured Marketplace Eligible Population Following the American Rescue Plan Act
- Eligibility for ACA Health Coverage Following Job Loss
- Pre-Existing Condition Prevalence for Individuals and Families
- Building on the Evidence Base: Studies on the Effects of Medicaid Expansion, February 2020 to March 2021
- FAQs: Health Insurance Marketplace and the ACA
- Explaining Health Care Reform: Questions About Health Insurance Subsidies
- Status of State Medicaid Expansion Decisions: Interactive Map
- Preventive Services Tracker
- Tracking Section 1332 State Innovation Waivers
In this Policy Watch we explore the potential impact of the expiration of the American Rescue Plan Act’s enhanced financial help and new eligibility for the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance Marketplace federal subsidies. While the COVID-19 relief legislation passed earlier this year provides greater subsidy assistance through 2022, Democrats in Congress are currently considering making the temporary federal help permanent or extending it as part of their planned budget reconciliation legislation.
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This brief and accompanying slides examine cost sharing – deductibles, copayments and coinsurance – in 2016 insurance plans sold on the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) federally-facilitated marketplaces. The analysis looks at out-of-pocket limits, as well as cost sharing for hospital stays, physician visits, emergency room visits, and prescription drugs, for plans across the metal levels (platinum, gold, silver and bronze).Issue Brief Read More
In this issue of the Women’s Health Issues journal, Alina Salganicoff and Laurie Sobel discuss how the private insurance reforms and expansions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have affected access to coverage for women and where gaps remain.Issue Brief Read More
In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman explains why 2015 enrollment in the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces is very hard to predict.Perspective Read More
In some states, policymakers and stakeholders are considering adoption of the Basic Health Program (BHP) option permitted under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Federal regulations allow BHP implementation beginning in 2015. Through BHP, consumers with incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) who would otherwise qualify for subsidized qualified health plans (QHPs) offered in health insurance marketplaces instead are offered state-contracting standard health plans that provide coverage no less generous and affordable than what have been provided in the marketplace. To operate BHPs, states receive federal funding equal to 95 percent of the premium tax credits (PTCs) and cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) that BHP enrollees would have received if they had been covered through QHPs. This paper seeks to inform state-level analysts about the characteristics of BHP-eligible people in their state and how to use that information to estimate the approximate federal BHP payment amount per average BHP-eligible resident.Report Read More
This report highlights 10 key findings on the Medicaid managed care market, based on analysis of data included in the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Medicaid Managed Care Market Tracker. The findings provide a partial profile of the Medicaid MCO market nationally and by state. They also illuminate the involvement of large, multi-state health insurance companies in the Medicaid market and the participation of these firms in other markets as well, including the managed long-term services and supports market, the new ACA marketplaces, and the Medicare Advantage market. Finally, these selected highlights serve to illustrate the array of ways the Tracker can be used to understand more about the Medicaid managed care market and its place in the broader market.Report Read More
Health spending growth has consistently outpaced U.S. economic growth and is higher than medical spending in other wealthy countries. Despite spending more, the United States doesn’t have better health outcome in terms of life expectancy, mortality rates and other measures. This brief provides an overview of trends in health costs and the performance of the U.S. health system, including comparisons to countries from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The brief charts growth in the nation’s per capita health spending along with the recent slowdown, touching on the roles of expanded Medicaid eligibility, increases in Medicare beneficiaries and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Additionally, it discusses the health system’s effectiveness and capacity to provide services, including the accessibility and affordability of care.Issue Brief Read More
Medical Debt Among Insured Consumers: The Role of Cost Sharing, Transparency, and Consumer Assistance
This policy insight examines medical debt among insured consumers, exploring how high cost sharing in health insurance plans can contribute, and explaining how greater transparency could help consumers avoid some financial pitfalls. It also provides an update on provisions of the Affordable Care Act meant to increase health plan transparency and bolster consumer assistance.Perspective Read More
In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman discusses how Obamacare has cooled as a political issue and the implications for media coverage of the health law.Perspective Read More
This perspective provides additional information on state plans related to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) primary care rate increase after the 100% federal financing ends December 31, 2014. The data in this report were collected as part of KCMU’s Annual Medicaid Budget Survey, conducted by Health Management Associates with the support of the National Association of Medicaid Directors,Perspective Read More
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) gives states the option to implement a Basic Health Program (BHP) that covers low-income residents through state-contracting plans outside the health insurance marketplace, rather than qualified health plans (QHPs). In March 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued final regulations on the requirements for a BHP and the methodology for calculating federal payments to states. States can choose to implement BHP beginning in 2015. This report summarizes these federal policies, including the requirements for BHP as well as the methodology for determining federal BHP payments. It then analyzes the key trade-offs facing states as they decide whether and, if so, how to implement BHP, with a particular focus on the impact of BHP on state budgets and the size, stability, and risk level of state marketplaces.Report Read More