Health care reform. Obamacare. The Affordable Care Act. Though the act has been called by various names since it was signed into law in March 2010, certain principles remain the same. One of them is that it aims to make health insurance—and health care—accessible to more Americans.
Let's talk about three parts of the law that advance this goal: essential health benefits coverage, coverage for most preventive services at no cost, and expanded access to coverage.
Marketplace coverage comes with 10 essential health benefits with no lifetime or annual dollar coverage limits.
Plans must provide coverage for these products and services:
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- Ambulatory patient services
- Prescription drugs
- Emergency services
- Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
- Laboratory services
- Maternity and newborn care
- Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
- Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment
- Pediatric services, including oral and vision care.
Another key part of the Affordable Care Act is its focus on preventive care. Vaccinations, health screenings, and well-baby visits are examples of services that may be offered at no cost. Not all preventive services are recommended for every patient every year, so talk to your doctor about which preventive services are right for you.
Health care costs can add up quickly, but you may qualify for a government tax credit to help pay for your insurance coverage.* Use our tax credit calculator to see if you are likely to qualify.
*Depends on your income and family size