• What is the Affordable Care Act?

    What is the Affordable Care Act?
  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA) changes the rules for health insurance. Everyone can now buy coverage. However, the law has a tax penalty for people who do not have health insurance. Coverage may also get cheaper. Many people will qualify for a new tax credits. These credits will help pay for their health insurance. Others may qualify for free coverage.

    • What’s Different About Health Insurance in 2014?

      Insurers must now offer to cover you, even if you have been sick in the past. The ACA also forces insurers to pay for your current health conditions; they can no longer exclude these. So even if you are or have been sick, you can still get coverage. You will also get “first-day” coverage of all services.

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    • The Tax Penalty for Not Getting Coverage

      Under the ACA, most people will pay a tax penalty if they do not have health coverage. The penalties are about 1% of your income in 2014. The penalties will go up each year. But, you can sign up for coverage to avoid the penalty.

    • Making Coverage More Affordable

      The ACA makes health coverage cheaper in a few ways:

      • Medicaid Expansion: Many states have expanded Medicaid. Up to now, Medicaid covered only people on the “five finger” test (i.e., or the aged, blind, disabled, children, pregnant/parenting adults). Now, many states will cover you if you are not on the five-finger test (for example, if you are an adult under 65 without children). And these states will essentially use the same income limit for everyone, regardless of which “finger” you are on. However, this varies by state.
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    • Getting Covered… As Complicated as Taxes

      While the ACA does make insurance more affordable for many lower-income families, the process applying for that coverage is very complicated. The eligibility rules create a highly complex program structure, particularly for families. Different family members may qualify for different public programs, meaning that family may be “split” across different insurance companies and different hospitals and networks of doctors.

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    • Understanding Gold, Silver, Bronze and Platinum Coverage

      The new health insurance marketplace in your state will sell health insurance from private health insurance companies. It is not government insurance — thought the government may help you pay for it.

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  • Helpful Resources

    •  Report on premium assistance tax credits under the ACA.Read PDF
    •  Want to get technical? Check out these expert reports from the Congressional Research Service (CRS):
    •  Want to estimate how much this new coverage may cost and how big your tax credit may be? Try the Kaiser Health Subsidy Calculator
    •  Report on the individual mandate tax penalty under the ACA. Read PDF

    Confused by Obamacare?

    Our Tax Pros can help you sort it out.