The Affordable Care Act (also called the ACA or Obamacare) gives Americans new choices for health insurance. Health insurance (also called health coverage or health plan) helps you pay for medical care.
Your health insurance choices depend on things like where you live and how much money you make. You may get your health insurance from your employer (where you work) or your partner’s employer. Or you may get it from the government or buy it on your own. No matter where you get it, health insurance is important to help you pay for medical care for you and your family.
For more information about health insurance choices, go to:
Depending on your annual income (the amount of money you make each year), you may be able to get your insurance from:
You can find out about different kinds of insurance from the Health Insurance Marketplace (also called the Health Insurance Exchange). This is an online resource that helps you find, compare and buy health plans in your state. You answer some basic questions, and the Marketplace shows you your insurance choices and the cost for each. Then you can pick the plan that works for you and fill out an application to enroll. Find your state’s Marketplace at: www.healthcare.gov/what-is-the-marketplace-in-my-state.
For more help choosing a plan, you can talk to a Navigator. This is a person who’s trained to help you understand your insurance choices. She can tell you about the plans you’re looking at and what each one offers. She also can help you fill out forms and find out if you can get help to pay for your coverage. Navigators are available 24/7 (every day, all day and all night) at:
It depends. Many people get health insurance through their employer or their partner’s employer. In fact, this may be your best option for insurance if it’s affordable. Under the law, affordable means that it costs less than 9.5 percent of your household income. Household income is the total income from everyone who lives with you, including anyone who files a tax return.
If your employer offers an affordable health plan, you can still choose to buy insurance from the Marketplace, but you can’t get a tax credit (a discount) to help you pay for it. For example:
To help you figure out how much your employer health plan costs, you can:
If you get your health insurance through your employer, it may be limited if you work part time. And not all employers offer coverage for employees’ families. If your employer doesn’t have coverage for family members, you can look for coverage for them in the Marketplace.
For more information on getting health insurance through your employer or your partner’s employer, visit:
Starting October 1, 2013, you can use the Health Insurance Marketplace to find a plan that meets your needs. If you pick a plan from the Marketplace before December 31, your coverage begins January 1, 2014. If you choose a plan after December 31, your coverage may not be in place for a few months .
When you use the online Marketplace to get your insurance, it tells you the amount of financial help you can get. Many Americans will qualify for (can get) help to pay for health insurance. The amount of help depends on a few important questions, like:
The Marketplace uses your answers to these questions to figure out how much help you can get to pay for health insurance. For example:
You can use the information you get in the Marketplace to help you choose a health plan that you can afford and that meets the needs of you and your family.
While some provisions take effect this September (see our In-depth article), the new law will not fully go into effect until 2014. In the interim, the March of Dimes is reviewing and commenting on the rules for implementation that are being issued by the Administration.
The March of Dimes will update this site on items that directly affect women of childbearing age, infants and children, but to get even more information about all of the advances, visit http://www.healthcare.gov/.
The first place to inquire is with your state insurance commissioner's office. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also has a Web site to help parents determine if their children are eligible for free or low-cost health coverage under the reauthorized Children's Health Insurance Program. Visit http://www.insurekidsnow.gov/ for more information.
Since our founding, the March of Dimes has worked to shape public policy that affects maternal and child health. Health reform offered an unparalleled opportunity to improve the health of and address the needs of women, infants and children. Specifically:
By law and longstanding tradition, the March of Dimes is strictly nonpartisan and remained nonpartisan throughout the debate. Initially, we worked with members with many different views and party affiliations, but as the debate went on, we focused our energies on ensuring that legislation likely to be approved contained the strongest provisions possible to address the unique health needs of children and pregnant women.