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Health Care Law and You

The health care law is most commonly known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But what does it mean for you?

Here’s a look at some of the most important changes from the health care law:

You May Face a Penalty if You Don’t Have Health Insurance

The ACA requires most people to have health care coverage. If you do not get health care coverage through your employer, you will need to purchase a plan on your own. If you do not have health care coverage, you may be charged a penalty1 You have two options when looking for a health plan for you and your family online:

If you do not have health coverage in 2018 and do not qualify for an exemption, you may be required to pay a penalty when filing your 2018 taxes (you’ll pay whichever is higher):

  • 2.5 percent of your yearly household income3
  • Maximum: The total yearly premium for the national average price of a bronze plan sold through the Marketplace3

There Are Four Benefit Levels of Health Coverage

To make it easier for you to compare health plans, the federal government created four levels of coverage: platinum, gold, silver, and bronze. Platinum health plans will cost the most, but your costs each time you receive covered services will likely be lower. Bronze health plans will cost the least each month, but will likely have higher costs each time you receive covered services. Use this plan shopping guide to help you shop for health coverage based on the type of health plan, cost of coverage and monthly premium, as well as other health care needs.

All Plans Include Essential Health Benefits

Ten core Essential Health Benefits will be included in all health plans.

Financial Help Is Available

The government is committed to helping as many people as possible get health insurance. They are providing tax credits and subsidies to help people purchase their own insurance. Depending on how much money you make and how many people are in your family, you may qualify for tax credits or subsidies to help you pay for insurance. Check your eligibility now.

You Can’t Be Denied Coverage

You can no longer be denied health insurance coverage based on pre-existing conditions, and the cost of insurance will no longer be affected by your health status or history.

1 Some people may be exempt from this penalty due to financial hardship, religious beliefs, or other conditions. Learn more at

2 On December 12, 2012, the state of Pennsylvania defaulted to a federally-facilitated health insurance exchange.


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