Magazine article Policy & Practice

President Signs Health Care Reform into Law; Congress Passes Package of "Fixes"

Magazine article Policy & Practice

President Signs Health Care Reform into Law; Congress Passes Package of "Fixes"

Article excerpt

On March 23, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148); on March 30, Obama also signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-152), which made a number of changes to the health care bill. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will require most individuals to have health insurance beginning in 2014 or be subject to a penalty. Individuals who will qualify for an exception from the penalty include American Indians; individuals with religious objections; individuals who can show financial hardship; individuals without coverage for less than three months; households with income below 100 percent of the federal poverty level; and households that would pay greater than 8 percent of income on premiums for the cheapest available plan. Individuals lacking affordable employer coverage can purchase coverage through a Health Insurance Exchange.

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The new law will expand eligibility to approximately 16 million people and requires states, beginning in 2014, to expand Medicaid eligibility to non-elderly, non-pregnant individuals who are not otherwise eligible for Medicare, if they have incomes of less than 133 percent of the federal poverty level. …

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