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.

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The ACA and Fluoridation: The Power of Political Symbols

In the 1950s, water fluoridation became a public health controversy that morphed into a symbolic issue of larger proportions. For its opponents, fluoridation came to symbolize big government and even for some, a communist threat. The controversy became so odd that it was parodied in Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 film “Dr.…

Health Insurance Transparency under the Affordable Care Act

In February, a final rule was issued implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement that all health plans provide a uniform summary of coverage for all enrollees and applicants. The idea of providing easy-to-understand summaries of coverage is, in fact, the most popular provision in the ACA, according to a recent Kaiser…

Small Area Variations and the ACA’s Coverage Expansions

A new Kaiser analysis sheds light on how the country might react to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) when it is implemented.  It looks at how the benefits of the ACA’s coverage expansions will vary around the country by census areas (technically, Public Use Microdata Areas, or PUMAs).  PUMAs are…

Explaining Health Care Reform: Medical Loss Ratio (MLR)

This fact sheet explains the Medical Loss Ratio requirement under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The MLR provision limits the portion of premium dollars health insurers may spend on administration, marketing, and profits. Under health care reform, health insurers must publicly report the portion of premium dollars spent on health care and quality improvement and other activities in each state they operate. Insurers failing to meet the applicable standard must pay rebates to consumers and businesses.

Private Insurance Benefits and Cost-Sharing Under the ACA

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released guidance on the two key components that determine the level of protection that private insurance plans will provide to consumers under health reform. The first involves the services that insurance plans must cover, and the second involves how much patients…

January 2012 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: The ACA and the Supreme Court

As the Supreme Court prepares to hear legal challenges to the health reform law in March, the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll shows that most Americans (59 percent) expect the Justices to base their ruling on their own ideological views rather than their interpretation of the law (28 percent). As for…

Pulling it Together: 2012: The ACA, and More

What is remarkable about 2012 (and the current era in health policy) is how many big health policy issues and marketplace changes will be in play at the same time: HEALTH REFORM: There is the implementation of a historic but fragile health reform law, with a Supreme Court decision pending…

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