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Affordable Care Act

About the Affordable Care Act

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was signed into law on March 23, 2010.  The law is also known by the shorter name "Affordable Care Act" or "ACA" and is often referred to as "Obamacare." The Supreme Court upheld the ACA on June 28, 2012. Click here to read our thoughts on the court's favorable announcement or watch this video from our Executive Director Dede de Percin. 

Some provisions of the ACA were implemented immediately, while others are implementing incrementally through 2014. There are three main goals of the ACA: 1) decreasing costs of health care and insurance to consumers; 2) improving the quality of health care services; and most importantly, 3) increasing access to health care for Americans without it.

Videos to watch and spread!

CCHI advocates for and helps implement the Affordable Care Act because of the great improvements it makes to our health care system in Colorado and across the country. Here are some of the materials that we use to get the word out about Obamacare's great benefits. 

Go to for fast facts, games and videos!

The Affordable Care Act's Groundbreaking Reforms 

  • Improves private market reforms including ending lifetime and most annual limits for health insurance coverage, increases transparency about how insurers use consumer's premium dollars and eliminates discrimination by insurers based on an individual's pre-existing conditions.
  • Strengthens the U.S. safety-net and public health benefits programs, including investments in primary care provider training and placements, expansion of public health coverage to more low-income Americans and investments in community health centers.
  • Creates new insurance marketplaces in each state, known as Exchanges. These competitive marketplaces will provide individuals and small businesses protections when buying their insurance, including defining what services plans have to cover so people can make an apples-to-apples comparison of plans when shopping. The exchanges will also help lower and middle class Americans without insurance cover the costs of their insurance with federal subsidies.
  • Helps young adults access health insurance coverage by allowing them to stay on their parents' plans until they turn 26. Five hundred thousand more young adults have health insurance coverage because of this provision as of September 2011.
  • Invests in projects and programs to reduce wasteful spending and fraud in the nation's public programs, including Medicaid and Medicare. 
  • Provides help to small businesses with lower income employees in the form of a tax credit for those who provide insurance to their employees.
  • Decreases costs to seniors on Medicare by closing the prescription drug coverage gap (known as the "Doughnut Hole") by 2012.  Also decreases costs by reducing prescription drug costs in general for seniors.

How Has the Affordable Care Act Benefited Colorado?

  • As many as 2,250,003 Coloradans, including 291,351 children, no longer face being denied coverage because they have a pre-existing condition.
  • 1,382,000 people in Colorado have gained coverage for copay-free preventative services through their private health insurance. (520K women)
  • 1,902,000 people in Colorado no longer face lifetime dollar limits on health benefits.
  • 3 million young adults have been able to remain on their parents’ insurance plan, including an estimated 50,000 18-25 year-olds in Colorado.
  • 1,115,058 Coloradans have increased access to mental health benefits as part of their insurance coverage.
  • Average private health insurance premium increases for Coloradans for 2015 is under 1%, the lowest on record.
  • Insurers have had to return $2,721,701 to Coloradans with private insurance because they didn't spend enough money on actual health care.
  • Colorado community health centers have received $174,696,911 to provide increased access to primary care services, extend hours, and hire more providers.
  • 180,000 Coloradans gained coverage through the state's Medicaid program.
  • 463,456 people in Colorado with Medicare received at least one free preventative service as in 2013
  • 43,232 seniors in Colorado with Medicare who hit the "donut hole" saved an average of $845/person in 2013.
  • HHS Health Care Fraud and Abuse Program saved U.S. taxpayers a total of $19.2 billion.

For more information on the law and its implementation, please visit

Also check out county specific ACA coverage fact sheets below.