The Affordable Care Act – Alliance for a Better Utah

The Affordable Care Act

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was introduced in July 2009 and was signed into law on March 23, 2010 by President Barack Obama.  Now referred to as “Obamacare,” this overhaul of the health care system bars insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, enforcing lifetime maximums, kicking children off their parent’s plan until age 26, charging women more based on their gender, and more.  The ACA also provided for the expansion of Medicaid. The purpose of the ACA was to set up a competitive healthcare marketplace and give every American access to affordable health care.  

That is on a national level, but what about the state level?  Utah has benefited greatly from the ACA.  Utah has the nation’s highest percentage of children enrolled in the marketplace insurance.  175,637 Utahns enrolled in quality, affordable marketplace insurance coverage for 2016.  Medicaid provided coverage to approximately 418,000 Utahns in 2015, over 14% of the state population.  Coverage extends to 263,000 children, 13,000 pregnant women, 15,000 senior citizens, 61,000 visually impaired and people with disabilities, and many families living in poverty. In other words, Utahns have greatly benefitted from the ACA. Doing away with the law would have deep impacts on the ability for them to access affordable and beneficial healthcare.

To learn more about specific provisions of the ACA and why they are important, visit these pages:

Pre-Existing Condition Protections

Pre-Existing Condition Protections Under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health insurance providers are prohibited from denying health insurance coverage, increasing insurance costs, or limiting insurance benefits based on an individual's pre-existing health conditions — with the exception of grandfathered plans (i.e. health insurance plans created before March 23, 2010). Pre-existing conditions are...

The Individual Mandate

The Individual Mandate Among the most contentious provisions of the Affordable Care Act has been the individual mandate. The ACA’s individual mandate requires that Americans obtain and maintain health insurance or pay a tax penalty. Many contend Congress should not have the authority to make citizens pay the individual mandate. Others say it is ineffective...

Medicaid Expansion

Medicaid Expansion Medicaid is a national social program providing health insurance coverage for over 70 million low-income individuals, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. All 50 states participate in the Medicaid program, which is designed to provide insurance for those whose income is insufficient to pay for health care. The federal government matches funds...

Ten Essential Benefits

10 Essential Benefits Covered in the Health Insurance Marketplace Prior to the Affordable Care Act, minimum standards health insurance mandates varied under discretion of each state. Many states did not require insurers to cover maternity care, mental health care, or prescription drugs. The Affordable Care Act introduced provisions that require all health insurers to cover...

Health Insurance Subsidies

Health Insurance Subsidies Subsidies are sums of money, granted by the government and given to businesses or individuals who meet certain pre-determined requirements. The Affordable Care Act offers subsidies solely through Marketplace plans, which provide health plan shopping and enrollment options available online, over the phone, or in person. Marketplace plans can be operated by…