This is the "Consumer Information" page of the "Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)" guide.
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Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)  

links to detailed information about the new law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2014, and tips for doing academic research on the subject
Last Updated: Apr 27, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Library research

checkFor tips on doing research on the ACA in Library resources, see the "Academic Research" tab.

Note that most of the resources, especially the databases, referred to under the "Academic Research" tab are available off-campus for St. Mary's students, faculty, and staff only.

Other guides to the ACA

Several libraries and other organizations have developed detailed guides to the law:

Alternative site

checkConsidering the well-publicized problems with the official government, site, you might find this independent plan-finder-site useful. It uses publicly available, vetted data to offer the options available for your zip code, without your having to enter lots of personal information:

Government Resources

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is usually known by a shorter title: the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or by its nickname: Obamacare. Its Public Law number is P.L.111-148; its Statutes at Large citation is 124 Stat. 119. These numbers can be useful in searching some specialized databases.

The law requires that eveyone have health insurance. For people who do not get insurance through their workplace (or who want to improve the coverage offered by their employer) ACA sets up health insurance exchanges to enable them to buy competitively-priced insurance. Some states have set up their own exchanges, but residents of other states—including Texas—will be using federally-run exchanges. See a map in the box below that indicates which states have their own exchanges.

Enrollment in the federal exchanges is through

    The official primary page for consumer information about the ACA, and the site for online enrollment. Enrollment opens October 1, 2013 and runs through March 31, 2014. Coverage begins January 1, 2014.
  • Find Local Help
    interactive system for finding Navigators and other means of assistance by zip code or city
  • Read the Law  
    Read or download the entire law or individual sections, in PDF format. Each section link also includes a summary of the provisions of that section.

    You can also read the text of the law by following the next link:
  • Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (from FDSys)
    PDF of the law in its entirety
  • Health Insurance Marketplace
    Site for professionals working with the ACA, but training and educational materials available here are free to everyone. Check out "Get Official Resources" for links to brochures, research articles, training videos, and more. Materials are available in Spanish and many other languages.
  • In-Person Assistance in the Health Insurance Marketplace
    Information for Navigators and others wanting to help consumers get the most out of the ACA.
  • Supreme Court Decision on ACA
    official title of the decision is "NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS ET AL. v. SEBELIUS, SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, ET AL." The decision was handed down June 28, 2012.
  • Federal Health Care Reform Resource Page
    TX information from the Texas Dept. of Insurance

Health Insurance Marketplaces

Government Information Librarian


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