The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as the Affordable Care Act, ACA, or "Obamacare") is a federally-mandated health care and health insurance law. Beginning October 1, 2013, individuals may enroll in health insurance plans offered through state-based health insurance exchanges. Open enrollment through the health insurance exchange ends on March 31, 2014, and insurance coverage will begin on January 1, 2014.
The Affordable Care Act, signed into law by President Obama in 2010 and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012, is the most significant regulatory overhaul of the country's healthcare system since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. The ACA aims to increase the quality and affordability of health insurance, lower the uninsured rate by expanding public and private insurance coverage, and reduce the cost of health care for individuals and the government. In addition to mandates, subsidies, and insurance exchanges, the ACA also requires insurance companies to cover all applicants and offer the same rates regardless of pre-existing conditions, shifting the system towards quality over quantity through increased competition, regulation, and incentives to streamline the delivery of health care. The Congressional Budget Office projected that the ACA will lower both future deficits and Medicare spending.
For more information on the Affordable Care Act, including a guide to choosing the correct ACA insurance plan for you, please visit the Health Insurance Marketplace at https://www.healthcare.gov. For Wyoming-specific information, please visit the Wyoming Department of Insurance at http://doi.wyo.gov/consumers/types-of-insurance/health-insurance/affordable-care-act.