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The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Qualified Health Plans (QHPs)

The Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Enacted in 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded health insurance coverage to more than 20 million people by increasing benefits and lowering health insurance costs to make coverage more affordable.

Consumer protections and benefits provided by the ACA include:

  • Providing coverage for people with pre-existing conditions
  • Eliminating annual and lifetime dollar limits on health insurance coverage
  • Providing free preventive care
  • Allowing young adults to remain on their parents’ plans until they are 26 years old
  • Allowing people to compare health insurance coverage options before selecting a plan
  • Providing premium tax credits to people who qualify to help lower health insurance costs. 
  • Increasing access to Medicaid

Full text of the Affordable Care and Reconciliation Act - PDF

Qualified Health Plans (QHPs)

Qualified Health Plans are insurance plans certified by the ACA Health Insurance Marketplace.

QHPs provide Essential Health Benefits, follow established limits on cost-sharing (such as deductibles, copayments and out-of-pocket maximum amounts), and meet other requirements of the ACA.