All the key components and principles of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) were implemented in 2014. The following elements went into effect: changes regarding purchasing private insurance plans and employer responsibility, expansions of Medicaid, and changes regarding medical decisions and individual insurance issues. Firstly, it was important to provide individuals as well as small businesses with a possibility to effectively compare health insurance plans and choose the most appropriate options (Sommers et al., 2017). Small businesses also received increased tax credits (Austin & Wetle, 2017). As a result, the responsibilities of individuals, small-group representatives, small businesses, and employers regarding the selection and purchasing of insurance plans changed, providing more persons with a choice.
Furthermore, it was stated in the ACA that Medicaid was planned to be expanded for the purpose of addressing the needs of more low-income Americans. A positive impact of this change was expected as the majority of Americans was planned to receive access to affordable and high-quality health care and efficient insurance plans. It was important to provide poor individuals and families with tax credits to cover their medical costs, and states received additional funding to support this initiative (Sommers et al., 2017). However, the change implementation was more problematic than it was expected. Finally, it is necessary to pay attention to the fact that individuals received an opportunity to purchase insurance independently if their employers did not provide it (Austin & Wetle, 2017). Moreover, it became possible to make exceptions in medical decisions to cover the interests of uninsured people and provide them with the required care. As a result, efficient and immediate medical services became available to a higher number of Americans.
Austin, A., & Wetle, V. (2017). The United States health care system: Combining business, health, and delivery (3rd ed.). Pearson Education.
Sommers, B. D., Maylone, B., Blendon, R. J., Orav, E. J., & Epstein, A. M. (2017). Three-year impacts of the Affordable Care Act: Improved medical care and health among low-income adults. Health Affairs, 36(6), 1119-1128.