HERE ARE THE BASICS of the 2010 Affordable Care Act:

  • If you don’t have health insurance through your employer and you aren’t covered by Medicaid, you can typically receive a premium tax credit to help with insurance costs if your income is up to four times the federal poverty level. Through 2025, the availability of the premium tax credit has been widened significantly, so those with much higher incomes may find they’re eligible. To see whether you qualify, try the subsidy calculator offered by the Kaiser Family Foundation at
  • If your income is at or below 138% of the federal poverty level, you may qualify for Medicaid, which has been expanded in many—but not all—states.
  • You cannot be denied coverage because of preexisting conditions.
  • Families can purchase coverage either through state-based insurance exchanges or directly from insurers. But to receive the premium tax credit, you have to use an exchange.
  • All plans are categorized as bronze, silver, gold or platinum, depending on the level of coverage offered.
  • Children can remain on their parents’ plan through age 26.
  • The original law required most U.S. citizens and legal residents to have health insurance, with tax penalties levied on those who didn’t purchase coverage. But the 2017 tax law eliminated the penalty.

Next: Health Exchanges

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