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.
President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress pursued several major efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but were unable to get a bill through the U.S. Senate in 2017. In 2018, Congress did pass a tax bill that eliminated the ACA’s tax penalty for not obtaining health coverage beginning in 2019.
In December 2019, a federal appeals court panel ruled that the law’s individual mandate is unconstitutional since Congress has set the mandate tax penalty to zero and sent the case back to a lower court to determine how much of the rest of the ACA should be invalidated. The case was first brought by a number of Republican state attorneys general, and the Trump administration now argues that nearly all of the ACA should be overturned.
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
On December 14, 2018, a federal trial court judge ruled that the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate is unconstitutional and that the entire law should be struck down as a result. This brief considers the complex and far-reaching impact were the entire law ultimately held to be invalid.
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Related Affordable Care Act Resources
- Republican Voters Have Moved On from Hating the ACA
- Explaining Texas v. U.S.: A Guide to the Case Challenging the ACA
- FAQs: Health Insurance Marketplace and the ACA
- Status of State Medicaid Expansion Decisions: Interactive Map
- How ACA Marketplace Premiums Are Changing by County in 2020
- Insurer Participation on ACA Marketplaces, 2014-2020
- How Many of the Uninsured Can Purchase a Marketplace Plan for Free in 2020?
- The Past, Present, And Possible Future Of Public Opinion On The Affordable Care Act
- Pre-Existing Condition Prevalence for Individuals and Families
This month’s KFF Health Tracking poll explores the role of health care in the 2020 election, and public opinion on the Affordable Care Act.
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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…
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…
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…
Explaining Health Reform: How will the Affordable Care Act affect Small Businesses and their Employees?
Several provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will likely have significant effects on small businesses, their employees, and families. Currently, smaller businesses are less likely to offer health insurance coverage to their employees than larger companies: 57% of small businesses with 50 or fewer workers offered health benefits to…
December Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Public Again Divided on ACA, Independents Polarized, and Exchanges Widely Popular
According to the December Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, the October downturn in the share of Americans with a favorable view of the health reform law has been fully reversed in December and overall opinion on the law returned to the roughly even split seen for most of 2011. Forty-three percent…
In our most recent monthly tracking poll, we asked the American people what elements of the health reform law they like and dislike. Surprisingly, the runaway favorite was a relatively obscure requirement that health plans provide consumers with a short, easy to understand description of their benefits and coverage. Sixty…
After taking a negative turn in October, the public’s overall views on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) returned to a more mixed status this month. Still, Americans remain somewhat more likely to have an unfavorable view of the law (44 percent) than a favorable one (37 percent).…
July Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Public Still Divided on ACA, Few Believe the Law Will Improve Consumer Protections
Overall public opinion on the health reform law remains unchanged this month, with 42 percent of Americans holding a favorable view and 43 percent an unfavorable view. Even though previous Health Tracking polls have consistently shown that consumer protections were one of the least controversial and most widely supported provisions…
Affordable Care Act Provisions Relating to the Care of Dually Eligible Medicare and Medicaid Beneficiaries
This issue brief identifies the major provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that are designed to improve care and streamline service delivery for dual eligibles, the millions of low-income seniors and younger persons with disabilities who are enrolled in both the Medicaid and Medicare programs. Dual…