Hey, everybody. It’s me, Ben. And today’s question is
specific to the United States. How does the Affordable Care
Act work, and what does it do? Although its full name
is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act, you’ve probably heard it just called
the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, or the ACA. It’s called Obamacare because
President Barack Obama signed it into law on March 23, 2010. But what does it actually do? Let’s look at the basics. Health care in the United States
has some serious long term issues. First, there are millions
of uninsured people. Second, people who
do have insurance tend to pay more
for it than they would in other
comparable countries. The ACA aims to fix these issues
by making affordable health care available to
more Americans. I mean, that’s a
good idea, right? To do this, the act makes
some pretty big changes. But although the act make
some big changes to insurance, these changes phase
in over time instead of happening all at once. A lot of things will
also stay the same. For example, if you already have
health insurance that you’re happy with, you can
keep it under this law. And children under the age of 26
can stay on their parents plan. If you already have
Medicaid coverage, then you’re going
to stay on that too. Or you can if you wish. In fact, many
states are expanding Medicaid to cover more people. So now, let’s talk
about what’s changing. There are several things. First there’s this thing
called the individual mandate. Most Americans will
be required to have some form of health insurance. This is a sweeping change for
a country with an estimated 30 million uninsured residents. But how do you enforce
something like that? By 2014, everyone
without health insurance will need to pay a small fee. During that year, for instance,
the fee is going to be $95 per adult, $47.50 per child. The maximum a family
will pay in 2014 is $285. Now, those numbers are over the
whole year, not month by month. To make sure that people can
find affordable insurance, the ACA creates what are called
Health Insurance Marketplaces. These are virtual spaces run
by the federal government, or by your state,
where customers can see different plans
and prices offered by insurance providers. So ultimately, this
might allow you to qualify for lower
premiums, depending on your income and
your family size. And regardless of what
kind of insurance you have, insurers will no longer
be able to deny or revoke coverage for
preexisting conditions. And women won’t have to pay more
than men for insurance either. Finally, right? Insurance will also
cover preventative care. So this would be
stuff like mammograms, and checkups, and
screenings, and so on. Then there’s the 80/20 rule. Insurers will generally be
required to spend at least 80% of the money they
get from premiums on– wait for it–
actual health care. If your insurer spends
too much on overhead, then you’re going
to receive a rebate. Finally, the laws also require
companies to publicly justify rate increases of over 10%. And they are banned from
imposing lifetime dollar limits on benefits. This act also affects
your employer, whether you work for a large
company or a smaller company. A smaller business, one
with less than 50 employees, can visit the small business
health options program, or– get this– SHOP. Right? A government loves an acronym–
to compare and purchase affordable health plans. Additionally, some
of these businesses might be eligible
for tax credits if they get coverage
through SHOP. The rules are a little
bit different for bigger businesses. In 2015, they have
to make what’s called an employer shared
responsibility payment if they don’t provide insurance meeting
a minimum value standard, or if one of their
employees gets a better deal in the individual
marketplace. Since states are implementing
the act in different ways, it’s very important
for you to check on the specific plans
of your home state. So that’s it. If you’d like to learn more
specifics about the Affordable Care Act, check out
www.healthcare.gov for more information. And hey, while you’re online? You can always like this video
if you’re into liking stuff. If you want to learn more about
everything from light sabers to the speed of light, you
can subscribe to our videos. And if you want to see some
more videos like right now, and you’re just thinking, I
want to see some more videos. Then, we’ve got three
on the side over here. And we’ll see you next time.