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Here are the key elements of the Affordable Care Act:

  • Everyone can now buy coverage, even those with pre-existing conditions.
  • Medicaid in states (like Illinois) that opted to expand it, now covers very low-income people who have not been covered before, in particular, non-disabled adults without children.
  • Insurance companies are no longer able to drop people when they get sick.
  • Insurance companies are now required to provide free preventive services.
  • Your premiums can no longer be based on your gender or health condition.
  • Small businesses can get tax credits to help secure coverage for their employees.
  • Individuals and small businesses have more choices and improved quality when shopping for insurance through a new competitive health care marketplace, Get Covered Illinois.

Building on ACA Success

The Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment period has ended with the successful signup of 7 million Americans. As we turn to helping people successfully use their new coverage, we must also build on that momentum and apply action to the lessons learned, to prepare for November 15.


This report from Families USA highlights 10 key steps to improving enrollment in the health insurance marketplace by strengthening the enrollment process and by making health insurance affordable to more people. See the summary at Families USA or read the full report.

Email us at to tell us what you think could be done better in Illinois next time around.

Myths & Facts

Myth #1: Health care reform means the government can make life-and-death decisions for you

Fact: Individuals, their doctors and their families will continue to make life-and-death decisions, regardless of a patient's age.

Myth #2: You will be forced to purchase insurance you can’t afford

Fact: The Affordable Care Act makes health insurance more affordable for everyone, with premium tax credits and cost sharing subsidies for those who need help buying coverage and a hardship waiver for those who still can't afford it.

Myth #3: The reform will contribute to rising health care costs and increase the deficit

Fact: The Congressional Budget Office released a report in 2010 that repealing the Affordable Care Act would actually increase the deficit.