The Affordable Care Act, also referred to by many as ACA or ObamaCare, is among the most far reaching and significant pieces of legislation to come out of the Federal Government in our lifetime. It's massive, and it's complicated. What started as more than 2,400 pages of Legislation is now over 20,000 pages and has left businesses and individuals confused about what the law contains and how it affects them.
The aim of the law is to provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans. To reach that goal, the law requires large companies to provide health insurance for their employees starting in 2015, and uninsured individuals must get their own health insurance starting in 2014. Those who fail to do so face penalties.
Insurance companies must also deal with new requirements. For example, they cannot refuse coverage due to pre-existing conditions, preventive services must be covered with no out-of-pocket costs, young adults can stay on parents' policies through age 26, and lifetime dollar limits on health benefits are not permitted.
The law mandates health insurance coverage, but not every business or individual will be affected by this requirement. Here's an overview of who will be affected.