The Affordable Care Act Glossary

glossaryBy now, you have undoubtedly heard of the Affordable Care Act. When it is discussed, people tend to use jargon and phrases that you might not entirely understand the meaning of. Fortunately, there is an Affordable Care Act Glossary at HealthCare.gov that can help you.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also know as the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare”) was signed by President Obama in 2010. It is a series of health reform laws and regulations that are designed to help consumers find affordable health insurance coverage.

There are a whole lot of terms that people use when talking about specific portions of the Affordable Care Act. Do you understand what those phrases mean? If you are unsure, you can visit HealthCare.gov and use the Affordable Care Act Glossary. Here are a couple of items from it that you should know.

Employer Responsibility: Under the Affordable Care Act, starting in 2014, if an employer with at least 50 full-time equivalent employees doesn’t provide health insurance and an employee uses a tax credit to help pay for insurance through an Exchange, the employer must pay a fee to help cover the cost of the tax credits.

Individual Responsibility: Under the Affordable Care Act, starting in 2014, you must be enrolled in a health insurance plan that meets basic minimum standards. If you aren’t, you may be required to pay an assessment. You won’t have to pay an assessment if you have very low income and coverage is unaffordable to you, or for other reasons including religious beliefs. You can also apply for a waiver asking not to pay an assessment if you don’t qualify automatically.

Health Insurance Marketplace: A new transparent and competitive insurance marketplace where individuals and small businesses can buy affordable and qualified health benefit plans. The Marketplace will offer you a choice of health plans that meet certain benefits and cost standards. Starting in 2014, Members of Congress will be getting their health insurance through the Marketplace and you will be able to buy your insurance through the Marketplace too.

Fully Insured Job-based Plan: A health plan purchased by an employer from an insurance company.

Self-Insured Plan: Type of plan usually present in larger companies where the employer itself collects premiums from enrollees and takes on the responsibility of paying employee’s and dependents’ medical claims. These employers can contract for insurance services such as enrollment, claims processing, and provider networks with a third party administrator, or they can be self-administered.

Grandfathered Health Plan: As used in connection with the Affordable Care Act: A group health plan that was created – or an individual health insurance policy that was purchased – on or before March 23, 2010. Grandfathered plans are exempt from many changes required under the Affordable Care Act.

Image by Eden Hensley Silverstein on Flickr

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