Answers to 10 Questions About the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act has changed the American system of healthcare and health insurance. Here are answers to 10 common questions to help you understand how it impacts you.

1. Am I required to have health insurance now?

Most Americans must carry health insurance or face a tax penalty. Health insurance may not be required if you meet certain exemptions.

2. Can I get health insurance for my family?

All Americans can buy health insurance through the exchange if they cannot get it through an employer. Some families may qualify for financial assistance.

3. How can I get my family health insurance?

To enroll in health insurance, visit the healthcare insurance exchange during the open enrollment period between November 15, 2014 and February 15, 2015. You may sign up for insurance at any time if your family size or income changes, you turn 26 or you lose employer-based health insurance coverage. You can also apply by calling 1.800.318.2596.

4. What is the healthcare insurance exchange?

The health insurance exchange is an online marketplace where you can shop for health insurance. It is located at

5. Can I get help paying for health insurance?

Whether you receive subsidies to help pay for health insurance depends on your age, income and family size. You may also get financial help with deductibles and copayments. This is determined when you apply for coverage through the health insurance exchange.

6. Will my condition be covered by health insurance?

According to law, no one can be rejected for coverage because of a pre-existing health condition. Each plan covers services and conditions differently. Check to make sure the plan you purchase covers the specific services and physicians you need.

7. How long can my child stay on my health insurance?

Children can remain on their parents’ health insurance through age 26 even if:

  • They are not claimed as dependents on their parents’ income taxes.
  • They are married.
  • They have a job that offers health insurance.

8. What is the cost of health insurance through the exchange?

The cost of health insurance can vary widely from family to family, according to different needs and income. Many Americans qualify for subsidies that discount the cost of insurance.

9. Can I keep my doctor or my preferred hospital?

Each plan covers different doctors or hospitals. Before you purchase a plan, check to see if your physician and nearby services are covered.

10. What if I can’t afford the health insurance premiums?

If you can’t afford health insurance premiums, you may qualify for a hardship exemption, which allows you to avoid tax penalties for not having coverage.

Find more information about the Affordable Care Act.

For your healthcare needs, visit Riley at IU Health, where you’ll find highly skilled, compassionate physicians and advanced providers in locations throughout Indiana.

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