The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a piece of health-care legislation that became law in 2010. It is more commonly known as Obamacare, and it mandates that everyone must obtain health insurance or be faced with paying a tax.
The overall goal of Obamacare is to lower health-care costs and improve care. Health-care exchanges have been established as part of Obamacare to assist those who need to purchase coverage. These exchanges are administered by either the federal or state government, depending on where an individual resides. If a person already has coverage through an employer or a private insurance policy, she is not required to participate in an exchange. Parents can have children on their family plans until the children reach the age of 26. Moderate-income families and some small businesses are eligible for government subsidies that can decrease monthly insurance premiums. Individuals who have existing coverage are encouraged to compare their current policies with those available on the government exchanges. The Affordable Care Act mandates that all health-insurance policies provide a minimum level of coverage and only allows for catastrophic coverage in certain instances. One of the major goals of Obamacare is to guarantee that health insurance is available to everyone, regardless of health or age.