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Understanding Health Insurance
How Does the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Affect Me?

Understanding Health Insurance

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How Does the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Affect Me?

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How Does the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Affect Me?

New healthcare choices were introduced by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA is a law that was signed by the U.S. government in 2010 and then took effect in January 2014. Overall, the primary objective of the new law, commonly referred to as “Obamacare,” is to supply affordable healthcare to all U.S. citizens.

Here are some of the basic rules of the ACA that might impact your healthcare coverage and decisions moving forward:

  • You or a family member cannot be turned down or charged extra if you have a pre-existing condition (this is a medical condition that started before an individual’s healthcare coverage went into effect).

  • All types of basic health services are covered, plans can’t cap annual or lifetime benefits, and most preventive care is free.

  • Low-income households and individuals will be eligible for specific subsidies to ensure that they are covered with the appropriate healthcare coverage.


Patient Protection is another component of the Affordable Care Act. Different aspects of the law related to the protection of patient rights will be put into place during the coming years. Some of the changes include:

  • Expanded Medicaid eligibility

  • Incentives for businesses to offer health insurance to their employees

  • Barring of the denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions

The impact of healthcare reform on each individual depends on your medical and financial circumstances. Low-to-middle income earners may find that they are eligible for federal subsidies to help purchase private insurance. Also, more workers may find that their companies—even fairly small companies—offer health insurance options, and individuals with pre-existing conditions should no longer be denied coverage.


Part of the Affordable Care Act was the establishment of healthcare exchanges throughout the U.S. These state exchanges determine which companies can offer government-subsidized health insurance. In our state, the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange was established and has been providing this helpful service since January 2014.

If you qualify for a subsidy, you must enroll for your health plan on the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange to receive a discount. Visit

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