Good health is important for our work, our play, and our everyday lives. There are many things we can do to maintain good health, but sometimes we need medical care to help keep us from getting sick or help us get better when we are sick or injured. Medical care is expensive, so having health insurance is critical to helping us get and pay for the care we need. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains provisions designed to increase the number of insured in the United States, yet most Americans do not understand how the ACA will affect them and their options for health insurance. The ACA is broad, has many components, and is hard to understand. The authors of this discussion paper believe it is critical for both health care providers and consumers to be able to answer the four basic questions addressed in this paper and the accompanying video, slides, and consumer guide:
- What are my choices for health insurance?
- How do I get it?
- How do I use it?
- How much will it cost me?