Affordable Care Act

Need health coverage? The Health Insurance Marketplace is open! Apply Now

In March 2010, President Obama signed comprehensive health reform, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), into law. The law makes preventive care—including family planning and related services—more accessible and affordable for many Americans.  While some provisions of the law have already taken effect, many more provisions will be implemented in the coming years. Enrollment opened October 1, 2013 and closes March 31, 2014.

Watch this animated video with important facts about the Affordable Care Act:  The YouToons Get Ready for Obamacare: Health Insurance Changes Coming Your Way Under the Affordable Care Act

Important Documents

Information Specific to Pennsylvanians & Lancaster County

If you live in Pennsylvania, you will use the Health Insurance Marketplace to apply for coverage, compare plans and enroll. You can apply as early as October 1, 2013.

How do I get help enrolling in the Marketplace? You can apply for Marketplace coverage three ways:  online, by phone (1-800-318-2596 Marketplace Help Center) or by mail.  If applying by mail, use one of these forms after printing.

Online is the preferred method. You can do this in-person with the help of a Navigator or other qualified helper.  According to a recent news article entitled ‘Navigators to help uninsured countians enroll in Obamacare’, there are three main ‘Navigators’ in Lancaster County that have currently been awarded grants to assist the public:

Pros and Cons “Is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Good for America?” is a nonpartisan, nonprofit website that presents facts, studies, and pro and con statements on diverse issues including the Mar. 2010 health care laws (Obamacare).

RAND Corporation: “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” With the complex process of implementing the ACA underway, RAND research is tracking the progress of implementation and assessing the potential consequences of choices facing federal and state governments, employers, families, and individuals. “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: A Snapshot of Pros and Cons” The Patient Care Forum blog is an online resource created by Supplemental Health Care, a national workforce solutions partner for healthcare organizations and professionals, designed to provide open discussions about pertinent healthcare topics helping readers better understand the dynamics of healthcare delivery and its connection to quality patient care.


What you need to know about shopping for health care in Pennsylvania under Obamacare (Lancaster Sunday News, September 1, 2013 by Jeff Hawkes)

Navigators to help uninsured countians enroll in Obamacare (Lancaster Intelligencer Journal/New Era, September 2, 2013 by Jeff Hawkes)

NPR: “You Ask, We Answer: Demystifying the Affordable Care Act” U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Latest News

Online Resources

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Provides the facts and features of the Affordable Care Act. Visitors of this site can find the answers to many of the frequently asked questions regarding this act. Also included are several links connecting users to the Insurance Marketplace, the Patient Bill of Rights, and to the full text of the Affordable Care Act Law.

According to, the Health Insurance Marketplace is “a new way to find health coverage that fits your budget and meets your needs. With one application, you can see all your options and enroll.” The Health Insurance Marketplace will allow users to learn if they are eligible for lower their costs for health insurance through lower premiums with private insurers or if they qualify for free or low-cost plans through Medicaid or CHIP. provides users with the information they need to determine if using the Health Insurance Marketplace is right for them and to enroll in a plan.

The Affordable Care Act is said to make “numerous improvements to Medicaid and Chip (Children’s Health Insurance Program).” This site focuses on the provisions of the Affordable Care Act that deal specifically with these programs. Numerous links are provided for connecting users to the sites that may affect them.

National Institutes of Health Medline Plus

MedlinePlus is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. This site provides reputable, reliable, up-to-date information about diseases, conditions, medications, and wellness. By entering the keywords “Affordable Health Care” into the search box, numerous trustworthy articles and links are provide on this topic.


At this site, AARP provides links to fact sheets on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These fact sheets outline how ACA will affect various populations.


The healing of America: a global quest for better, cheaper, and fairer health care by T.R. Reid

Deadly spin: [an insurance company insider speaks out on how corporate PR is killing health care and deceiving Americans] by Wendell Potter

Critical condition : how health care in America became big business–and bad medicine / by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele