What You Need to Know

The Affordable Care Act, also known as "health care reform," has brought big changes to the U.S. health insurance system. Many of the biggest changes began on January 1, 2014.

More Health Insurance Options Will Be Available

To give more people access to health insurance:

  • You'll have the option to buy insurance through a state or government marketplace, or "exchange." Put simply, a marketplace is a website where health insurance companies come together to give you a place to shop for health insurance. That way, you have one place to compare options for private health insurance side by side. Financial Help may be available to you for insurance that you buy through the marketplace.
  • Additionally, all employers with 50 or more employees will be required to offer health insurance to full-time employees (that is, employees who work 30 or more hours a week). This is commonly referred to as the "employer mandate." That doesn't mean you have to buy health insurance through your employer-it just means it must be available to you.

If you can't afford the health insurance offered to you through your employer or in a marketplace, you may qualify for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program. Each state has its own eligibility requirements for these programs.

Find out more about your options and what you need to do if you choose to enroll through a marketplace.

Need more information? Check out the IRS site at: http://www.irs.gov/Affordable-Care-Act/Individuals-and-Families