What does Obamacare do?


Quick Answer

Obamacare, which is also known as the Affordable Care Act, makes healthcare more affordable for all Americans by providing subsidies for low-income families and individuals that allows them to better afford insurance, expanding Medicaid to cover more people and changing the way that health insurance companies determine their rates. Under the law, all Americans must have health insurance or pay a penalty when filing their personal income taxes.

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Full Answer

Under Obamacare, rules governing health insurance companies were established to make the industry fairer. For example, young adults are now permitted to remain on their parents' insurance plans until the age of 26, and there is no lifetime limit on the amount of coverage an individual can receive from an insurance company. In addition, insurance companies can't drop a policyholder due to a sickness, and they cannot deny coverage to anyone seeking a policy because of a pre-existing medical condition or due to gender.

Obamacare also established a marketplace for Americans to compare prices on health insurance products and to also determine their Medicaid eligibility. Each state has its own marketplace where families and individuals can shop for a plan during the open enrollment period. Those families and individuals not electing to buy health insurance who do not receive coverage from an employer will have to pay a penalty when they file their personal income tax returns.

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