Affordable Care Act Summary

People have criticized ‘Obama care’ and it is unfortunate that many people do not understand that many aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will not be implemented until 2015.

The following is a brief summary of the ACA which was submitted by a student in the Health Care Management programs Capstone course.

President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law on March 23rd, 2010. Under the new law, our quality of health care is expected to grow and the cost for healthcare is expected to go down. The law is extensive but targets five majors areas, Rights and Protections, Insurance Choices, Insurance Costs, 65 or Older and Employers.

Listed below are important effective dates in regards to the five major areas addressed above (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services):


  • March 23rd, 2010: President Obama signed the Affordable Health Care Act
  • January 1st, 2010: Small businesses are eligible for tax credits to help them provide insurance to their employees. The first part provides a credit up to 35% of the employer’s contribution. Small, non-profit organization may receive up to 25%.
  • 2010: Eligible seniors who reached the “donut hole” in Medicare received a one-time tax-free rebate check of $250.
  • 2010: Preventing disease and illness through prevention programs.
  • June 1st, 2010: A $5 billion dollar program to provide financial help for employment-based healthcare plans is provided for those people who retire between the ages of 55-65.
  • July 1st, 2010: PCIP (Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan) provides new options for people who have been without health insurance for at least 6 months due to a pre-existing condition, by 2014, all pre-existing conditions will be prohibited.
  • July 1st, 2010: Easy-to-use website is created for access to information regarding the affordable care act.
  • September 23rd, 2010: Coverage is extended to dependents up to age 26, allowing them to stay under their parents health insurance plans.
  • September 23rd, 2010: Prohibits insurance companies from rescinding coverage.
  • September 23rd, 2010: Eliminates lifetime limits on insurance coverage.
  • September 23rd, 2010: Regulates annual limits on insurance coverage, January 1st, 2014 annual limits on insurance coverage will be eliminated.
  • September 23rd, 2010: Prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage to children due to pre-existing conditions.


  • January 1st, 2011: Free Preventative Care for Seniors
  • October 1st, 2011: Increased access to services at home and in the community


  • January 1st, 2012: Encouragement of Integrative Health Systems


  • January 1st, 2014: Establishing Affordable Insurance Exchanges
  • January 1st 2014: Increasing access to Medicaid


  • January 1st, 2015: Paying physicians based on value not volume