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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Return of Health Discrimination to Insurance Markets Could Affect Millions of People

Without the ACA, there is nothing in federal law to assure people with pre-existing health conditions access to affordable individual market coverage. This post looks at how overturning the ACA would disproportionately affect older adults, younger women, and people living outside metro areas

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Is COVID-19 a Pre-Existing Condition? What Could Happen if the ACA is Overturned

If the ACA is overturned, federal law protection for people with pre-existing health conditions would end.  This post examines what that could mean for people in the time of COVID-19, including whether and how insurers could deny coverage to people who have had COVID or other pre-existing conditions.

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Eliminating the ACA: What Could It Mean for Medicaid Expansion?

The debate over filling the Supreme Court seat previously held by Ruth Bader Ginsburg has brought renewed attention to the possibility of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) being overturned under the court challenge in California v. Texas, currently scheduled to be heard shortly after the election this November. The expansion of Medicaid was a central component of the ACA, and 39 states have now adopted the ACA expansion into their Medicaid programs. Because Medicaid is administered by states, under federal guidelines, there may be some confusion about how overturning the federal law would affect state Medicaid programs.

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The Coverage Gap: Uninsured Poor Adults in States that Do Not Expand Medicaid

In states that do not implement the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many adults will fall into a “coverage gap” of earning too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to qualify for Marketplace premium tax credits. Nationwide, 2.2 million poor uninsured adults are in this situation. This brief presents estimates of the number of people in non-expansion states who could have been reached by Medicaid but instead fall into the coverage gap and discusses the implications of them being left out of ACA coverage expansions.

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Taking A Closer Look At Characteristics of People in the Coverage Gap

As policy makers debate whether and how to extend coverage to people in the gap, understanding the characteristics of who these people are can help inform policy decisions.

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Preventive Services Tracker

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires new private health insurance plans to cover many recommended preventive services without any patient cost-sharing. This tracker presents up-to-date information on the adult preventive services nongrandfathered private plans must cover, by condition, including a summary of the recommendation, the target population, the effective date of coverage, and related federal coverage clarifications.

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Health Insurer Financial Performance in 2020

This analysis examines insurers’ financial data across markets through the end of 2020. It finds that average margins remained relatively high compared to recent years, suggesting many insurers remained profitable even as health spending rebounded and COVID-19 cases surged in the fall and winter.

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Analysis Suggests Health Insurers Remained Profitable Across Markets Amid Pandemic in 2020

A new analysis of health insurers’ financial data suggests that they remained profitable across markets in 2020 due in part to an unprecedented decrease in health spending and utilization in the spring as the COVID-19 pandemic led to massive shutdowns.

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New Analysis Summarizes Recent Research on the Effects of ACA Medicaid Expansion, Providing Context for Renewed Expansion Debates in States

New federal financial incentives for Medicaid expansion and the increased reliance on Medicaid as a coverage safety net during the pandemic have renewed debate in the 12 states that have not adopted the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. A new KFF literature review provides context for these expansion…

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The Inequity Of The Medicaid Coverage Gap and Why It Is Hard To Fix It

In this column for the JAMA Health Forum, Larry Levitt explores why the Medicaid “coverage gap” still exists in 12 states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act, why it matters, and why eliminating it could prove challenging.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.