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The Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act, sometimes known as "Obamacare," was signed into law on March 23, 2010. The law has 2 parts: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act.

Introducing The Marketplace

The Affordable Care Act is a set of health insurance reforms that started in 2010 and will continue to roll out in 2014 and beyond. 2014 is an important year. The Health Insurance Marketplace will offer a new way for people without insurance to get coverage and to find out if they can get lower costs for private insurance. They can also find out if they qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Also starting in 2014, people who do not have health coverage may have to pay a fee. Read more about the timeline of the Affordable Care Act here.

For Americans who don’t have access to affordable health insurance coverage, the marketplace will offer a variety of health insurance plans to meet their varied needs and budgets. All plans in the marketplace will meet minimum value standards.

The marketplace offers one-stop shopping to find and compare private health insurance options. Some individuals may also be eligible for a new kind of tax credit that lowers their monthly premium right away.

Health Insurance Marketplaces will open for consumers to begin shopping for plans on October 1, 2013 for plans that take effect January 1, 2014.

Who Qualifies For Tax Credits or Subsidies

The Affordable Care Act provides tax credits and subsidies for people who qualify, to help make insurance more affordable when they shop through the Marketplace. Individuals may be eligible for tax credits or subsidies if:

  1. Their employer does not offer coverage,
  2. The coverage offered by their employer does not meet certain “minimum value” standards, or
  3. The cost of the employer health insurance coverage that would cover them (not including members of their family) is more than 9.5 percent of their household income for the year.

What This Means For Lehigh Employees

  • Because Lehigh will continue to offer health insurance plans that exceed the minimum value standard set by the ACA, benefits eligible (75 percent effort and higher) Lehigh employees will not qualify for federal tax credits or subsidies for the purchase of health insurance through the Marketplace.
  • If you are a part time or wage employee, you may qualify to purchase insurance through the Marketplace. You may alo qualify for a subsidy or tax credit.
  • As in previous years, benefits eligible faculty and staff will be able to select the medical insurance that fits their needs during Lehigh’s Open Enrollment period. This year, Open Enrollment will run from November 1 through 15.

For More information

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