Health Care Reform Explained

Signed into law in March 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the most sweeping health care legislation passed by Congress since the adoption of Medicare in the 1960s. The precise impact of ACA will continue to be shaped by new rules and guidance developed by the federal agencies in support of the law.

Some provisions of the ACA, including insurance market reforms such as increased access for dependents and the prohibition of lifetime limits on coverage, have impacted health care benefits since soon after adoption of the law. Other provisions, such as requiring all Americans to obtain health care coverage and the implementation of insurance exchanges, take effect in 2014.

At Aetna, we are committed to complying with health care law and to helping you understand its impact. The summaries and questions and answers throughout this site are provided for informational purposes only. They should not be construed as, or relied upon, as legal or any other advice. Employers should consult with their own legal counsel for a comprehensive explanation of the rules and the proper application of these rules to their particular situation.

Health Care Reform: Watch and Learn

Key 2014 impacts of ACA provisions
ACA impacts on individuals
ACA impacts on small employers
ACA impacts on large employers 

Get started with these topics:


Annual and Lifetime Limits
Auto Enroll
Choice of Provider
Grandfathering
Preventive Care 


Health Care Reform Timeline
The new health care reform law is significantly impacting the benefits landscape. Explore our timeline to learn more about when changes under the law take effect.


The Legislative Process Explained
The process of taking a concept or idea and making it into a law or regulation is complex. Learn more about the process from start to finish.