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Cancer Care and the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Health Insurance Marketplaces

On October 1, 2013, state-based health insurance marketplaces (also known as insurance exchanges) opened for enrollment. Created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the exchanges are designed for the uninsured, people who buy their own coverage, and those whose employer-provided coverage is too expensive or lacks needed benefits. 

The second open enrollment period occurred November 15, 2014, through February 15, 2015.  A extra enrollment period also took place March 15 to April 30, 2015, providing an opportunity for those confused by requirements to avoid a portion of the 2015 fee for non-coverage.  Over 10 million people have enrolled, with 85% receiving advance premium tax credits (reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation).

As of 2015, 34 states have defaulted to federally facilitated marketplaces.  People insured through health insurance exchange plans in these states stand to be affected by the June 2015 Supreme Court decision regarding federal subsidies.  (For details on state impacts, see Kaiser Family Foundation graphic)


Supreme Court Decisions on the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court upheld the central component of the Affordable Care Act agreeing that the requirement for nearly all Americans to secure health insurance is permissible. The vote came down to a 5-4 decision, with Chief Justice John Roberts providing the swing vote for the majority.

On June 25, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued their decision in the highly anticipated King v. Burwell case, ruling that the more than 6 million people currently purchasing insurance through a federal exchange can continue to access subsidies. In a 6-3 decision, Chief Justice Roberts’ Court concluded that “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”

For more information, read our ACCCBuzz blog post: King V. Burwell: Federal Health Insurance Subsidies Upheld for Patients (June 25, 2015)

Read previous ACCCBuzz blog posts on ACA and Health Exchanges


Here are brief highlights of the Affordable Care Act (ACA):

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