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Home Knowledge CenterHealth Care Reform Facts: Purchasing Your Own Coverage

Health Care Reform and What it Means for You

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was put in place to make your health care coverage better and more affordable.

Changing health care to make it better, more affordable, and within reach of more people is important. That’s why you hear so much about health care reform. But what does it mean for you? Here’s a run-down of five key things to know.

It's easier to get health insurance

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or "Obamacare," put health care reform in action. This law makes it easier for people in the United States to get health insurance. Plus, it can provide federal financial assistance to those who need help paying for it.

You can count on coverage and standard plan features

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, you don’t have to worry about being turned down for health insurance if you have a pre-existing condition, or an ongoing health problem.

You can also count on every plan having standard features, known as “essential health benefits.” For example, your annual check-up and routine shots are 100% covered when you visit an in-network provider.* Lots of other services are standard, too.

You can stay on a parent’s plan until age 26

The law makes it easier and less expensive for young adults to get health insurance, too. Children can typically stay on a parent’s plan until they turn 26. (Check with the individual plan to be sure, since some states and plans have different rules.) Plus, kids can join or stay on a parent’s plan even if they're married, not living with their parents, going to school, not counting on their parents for money, and able to sign up for a plan where they work.

You can shop and compare plans on the Health Insurance Marketplace

The Marketplace is an online shopping center based at It’s a great place to start if you don’t have health insurance or want to find your state Marketplace, if your state has one. You can see what your options are, compare plans, and buy the plan you want. You can also find out if you qualify for federal financial assistance for your Marketplace plan.

Plans in the Marketplace are grouped by metal levels, which are based on how you and your plan share the cost of your health care bills. For example, Platinum plans pay the highest portion of your health care bills (90%) and come with the highest price tag. Bronze plans pay 60% of your medical bills and come with a lower price tag. So, if you know you'll need care for a medical condition, you may want to shop around and check out all the Marketplace Platinum plans. If you’re pretty healthy and don't expect you'll need much care, you may want to check out all the Marketplace Bronze plans. Once you review your options, you can buy the plan that’s right for you.

During the Open Enrollment Period, you can view, compare and apply for Cigna individual medical plans online directly through Cigna. You can also see if you are eligible for federal financial assistance and apply that aid to eligible Cigna plans.

You may be able to get federal financial assistance

The Affordable Care Act also puts health insurance in reach for those who need help paying. Getting financial assistance depends on your annual household income and how many people live in your home. If you qualify, you may be able to get aid toward your Marketplace qualified health plan from the federal government.

See if you qualify for financial assistance


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Plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company or its affiliates: For Arizona residents, health plans are offered by Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc. For Georgia residents, health plans are offered by Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc. For Illinois residents, health plans are offered by Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc. For North Carolina residents, health plans are offered by Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc.

*Plans may vary. Includes eligible in-network preventive care services. Some preventive care services may not be covered, including most immunizations for travel. Reference plan documents for a list of covered and non-covered preventive care services.

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Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of Texas, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

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