Making Health Insurance Affordable: Assistance to Individuals and Families

Beginning Oct 1, 2013, Americans will face a new world of health insurance purchasing. Many individuals and families will have the opportunity to purchase health insurance from either state-operated or federally facilitated health insurance marketplaces.

Millions of uninsured Americans will be purchasing health insurance for the first time, or the first time in awhile. A major calculation for many as they begin to research and purchase insurance through the health insurance marketplaces will be the cost – the amount in premiums individuals and families must pay for their choice of coverage. The affordability of insurance will determine the success of the primary goals of the Affordable Care Act – enrollment in health insurance exchanges to increase insurance coverage and reduce the nation’s uninsured.

To help accomplish those goals, the Affordable Care Act has a system of tax credit assistance and automatic measures to subsidize the cost of health insurance and make it more affordable for individuals and families. This report summarizes these provisions in the Affordable Care Act, how they will work, and their importance to rural individuals and families.