ACA 101: What You Need to Know

April 26, 2013

An April 26 briefing, ACA 101: What You Need to Know, was intended to be especially helpful to congressional staff members and others with limited knowledge of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), but also to be a useful review for anyone dealing with the complex issues leading up to major changes scheduled to take effect in 2014.

States and the federal government must be ready to begin enrolling millions of people in insurance marketplaces in October of this year. By January 1, most Americans will have to have health coverage or pay a penalty. Most states are also expected to draw new federal money to significantly expand their Medicaid programs. Insurers, meanwhile, face new rules, and doctors, hospitals and other medical providers will experiment with payment models intended to encourage quality instead of volume when it comes to care.

This ACA 101 answered basic questions about the law.

How many people will gain insurance under the law, will they get Medicaid or private insurance, and what will be the scope of benefits? Will people lose their current insurance under the law? Who will qualify for subsidies and how much will they get? How will insurance marketplaces work and will states or the federal government run them? What kind of penalties will individuals have to pay if they don’t buy insurance? What are the new mandates for businesses? Rules for insurers?

An expert panel addressed these and other issues:

Jennifer Tolbert, director of state health reform at the Kaiser Family Foundation, provided an overview of the provisions in the health law.

Michael Hash, director of the HHS Office of Health Reform, discussed the parts of the law that have been implemented to date, and what is coming in 2014 and beyond.

Janet Trautwein, CEO of the National Association of Health Underwriters, addressed the requirements for employers in the law.

Sabrina Corlette, research professor and project director of the Center on Health Insurance Reforms at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute, outlined major insurance changes in the law, and will discuss how the insurance marketplaces will work.

Karen Milgate, a health policy consultant who is a veteran of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which advises Congress on Medicare payment policy, explained delivery system reforms and cost containment provisions in the law.

Diane Rowland of the Kaiser Family Foundation and Ed Howard of the Alliance for Health Reform co-moderated.

This forum took place from 12:15 to 2:00 p.m. on Friday, April 26 at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room G50.

The event was sponsored by the nonpartisan Alliance for Health Reform and The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Contact: Marilyn Werber Serafini (202)789-2300


Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Speaker Presentations

Jennifer Tolbert Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Michael Hash Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Janet Trautwein Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Sabrina Corlette Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Karen Milgate Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Event Details

Agenda (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Speaker Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Event Resources