Affordable Care Act - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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Affordable Care Act

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The Affordable Care Act (ACA) put in place comprehensive health insurance reforms that roll out over four years (beginning 2010) and beyond.

The ACA requires new benefits including tax credits that make coverage more affordable, and prohibits insurers from refusing to cover or charge more if someone has a pre-existing condition – like MS. Learn about what the law means for you through these information and resources:

As of October 2013, most people who did not already have health insurance could sign up through the Health Insurance Marketplace. However, Marketplace open enrollment ended March 31, 2014. Unless you fall under special circumstances, you can’t get private health insurance inside the Marketplace until the next open enrollment period starts Fall 2014. Learn more about the Health Insurance Marketplace at healthcare.gov.

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What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?

Opened October 1, 2013, the Health Insurance Marketplace (sometimes called “exchange(s)”) is intended to facilitate enrollment in insurance coverage by allowing individuals and families to compare the coverage options available to them in terms of price, benefits, quality and other features, and select the one that best meets their needs. Everything you read about your options and costs will be in plain language. Find the Marketplace in your state
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What do Health Insurance Marketplace plans cover?

Every health insurance plan in the new Marketplace offers comprehensive coverage, including hospitalization, doctors’ visits, prescriptions and more. Under the new law, all health insurance including Medicare and Medicaid plans must cover recommended preventive care (such as cancer screenings and vaccines) at no additional cost to you.
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When and how do I enroll?

For coverage starting in 2014, you can enroll during Open Enrollment--now through March 31, 2014. If you miss the initial Open Enrollment opportunity, you will have to wait for next year's annual Open Enrollment unless you qualify for Special Enrollment due to certain circumstances such as getting married or having a baby. For coverage to begin on January 1, 2014, make sure you enroll by December 23, 2013.

You can apply for coverage online, over the phone, by mail, and in some places, in-person. When you apply online, you will fill out an application and see all the available health plans in your area. You will need to provide information about your household size and income in order to find out if you qualify for lower monthly premiums, and if you qualify for lower out-of-pocket costs.

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Putting Patients First®

Putting Patients First® is an initiative launched by the National Health Council to connect people living with chronic diseases and disabilities to resources and organizations focused on their particular needs.

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