Understanding the New Federal Health Care Laws
In March 2010 President Obama signed a new federal health care law for the United States, named the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). It will impact the lives of all Alaskans, as well as Alaska employers and the Alaska health care industry. The new law includes provisions that affect health insurance coverage, health care financing and delivery, the health care workforce, public health, and long-term care. Some of these provisions are already in effect, many take effect in the year 2014, and some will not take effect until as late as 2018. To help Alaskans understand the new law, the Department of Health and Social Services has created this website. This page will be updated with new links as more information becomes available.
Health Insurance Marketplace (also known as Health Insurance Exchange)
Information on the Health Insurance Marketplace is located in Division of Insurance, a section of the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development. The Marketplace will assist people in buying health insurance: http://commerce.alaska.gov/ins/index.html.
The Affordable Care Act link is: http://commerce.alaska.gov/ins/Insurance/ACA/. This link explains the ACA’s key provision (the Marketplace) answers frequently asked questions, and provides links to consumer, insurer and industry information on health care reform.
Additional information can be found on the federal site: www.healthcare.gov.
General Overview of Law with Timeline
Links to the Federal Health Care Laws:
Final Consolidated Law: This document integrates the manager’s amendments to the primary law (P.L. 111-148) made by Title X of the legislation, and also those made by the reconciliation legislation (P.L. 111-152), into the body of the primary law (Titles I thru IX of P.L. 111-148). (This document was compiled by Legislative Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives)
P.L. 111-148, the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act, is the primary law. It passed Congress as H.R. 3590, which was the U.S. Senate’s version of health care reform that passed the Senate in December 2009. It was passed by the House of Representatives on March 21, 2010, and was signed by the President on March 23, 2010. On June 28, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of ACA’s individual mandate (requiring most to be covered by health insurance). The Court also ruled that the government could not force states to accept Medicaid expansion. A comprehensive guide to the Supreme Court decision is at: http://kaiserfamilyfoundation.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/8332.pdf
P.L. 111-152, the Health Care Education & Reconciliation Act, is the law that amends P.L. 111-148 to reflect the changes the U.S. House of Representatives made to the health care reform law. This law passed Congress as H.R. 4872 on March 25 and was signed by the President on March 30, 2010. P.L. 111-159, the TRICARE Affirmation Act, is a law that clarifies and affirms that TRICARE coverage for military beneficiaries qualifies as coverage under the provision of P.L. 111-148 that requires individuals to purchase health insurance. This law passed Congress as H.R. 4887 on April 12 and was signed by the President on April 26, 2010.
Links to federal information regarding requirements for employers under the Affordable Care Act:
Links to Additional Information