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CRS — Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): Resources for Frequently Asked Questions

October 1, 2013

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): Resources for Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA; P.L. 111-148, as amended) has numerous provisions affecting private health insurance and public health coverage programs. Many of these provisions take effect in 2014. This report provides resources to help congressional staff respond to constituents’ frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the law. The report lists selected resources regarding consumers, employers, and other stakeholders, with a focus on federal sources. It also lists CRS reports that summarize ACA’s provisions.

The report begins with links to contacts for specific ACA questions, such as Consumer Assistance Programs and state agencies that can answer constituents’ questions directly. For example, the federal HealthCare.gov website offers an ACA consumer telephone hotline and online chat assistance. The report also lists sources for congressional staff to contact federal agencies with ACA questions.

The report provides basic consumer sources, including broad overviews of the ACA law. The next sections focus on health coverage: the individual mandate, private health insurance, and exchanges, as well as public health care programs, such as Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Medicare, Indian health care, and veterans’ and military health care. The report then lists sources on employer-sponsored coverage, including sources on employer penalties, small businesses, federal workers’ health plans, and union health plans. The report also provides sources on ACA’s provisions on mental health, public health, workforce, quality, and taxes. Finally, the report lists sources on ACA costs and appropriations, and sources for obtaining the law’s full-text.

This list is not a comprehensive directory of all resources on the ACA, but rather is intended to address a few questions that may arise frequently.

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