Initial provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were implemented in March 2010. Additional provisions, including the individual mandate to purchase health coverage (March 31, 2014), will be enacted in subsequent phases through 2018.
This complex new law is divided into ten titles. Included within these titles are a number of new programs and initiatives that affect both patients and providers. These titles include:
- Title I: Quality, Affordable Health Care for all Americans
- Title II: The Role of Public Programs
- Title III: Improving the Quality and Efficiency of Health Care
- Title IV: Prevention of Chronic Diseases and Improving Public Health
- Title V: Health Care Workforce
- Title VI: Transparency and Program Integrity
- Title VII: Improving Access to Innovative Medical Therapies
- Title VIII: Community Living Assistance Services and Support Act
- Title IX: Revenue Provisions
- Title X: Reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) offers further details on each of the ten titles in the new law.
Beginning in 2014, most U.S. citizens and legal residents must have and maintain a minimum level of health coverage or pay a federal tax penalty. The tax penalty is assessed according to a percent of income or a flat fee, whichever is greater, and will be applied on federal income tax returns.
Individuals can purchase coverage through March 31, 2014, to avoid the tax penalty.
Learn more about the individual mandate from Kaiser Health News.
Health Insurance Marketplace
ACA established health insurance marketplaces (also known as health insurance exchanges), where consumers can shop, compare and enroll in health insurance coverage. They are intended to create an organized and competitive market by offering a choice of plans, establishing common rules regarding the offering and pricing of insurance and providing information to help consumers better understand the options available.
BCBSMT provides an overview of key elements of the new health care law for current and potential members on our Health Care Reform & You site.