Private Health Insurance Market Reforms in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Source: Annie L. Mach, Bernadette Fernandez, Congressional Research Service, R42069, April 16, 2012

The private health insurance provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148, ACA, as amended) include market reforms that impose requirements on private health insurance plans. Such reforms relate to the offer, issuance, generosity, and pricing of health plans, among other requirements. ACA’s market reforms largely focus on the individual and small group health insurance markets, and in this report the reforms have been grouped by effective dates: “immediate” market reforms that become effective prior to the full implementation date of ACA, and reforms that become effective on the full implementation date (January 1, 2014)…. This report provides background information about the private health insurance market, including market segments and regulation. It describes each ACA market reform and notes any major implementation activity that has occurred (e.g., issuance of final rule from a department such as Health and Human Services). The appendices of the report provide additional information about the status of regulations relating to each reform and how the reforms apply to the different market segments and health plans…

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