Affordable Care Act - The Comprehensive Federal Health Care Reform


The "Affordable Care Act" (ACA) was enacted in 2010. It aims to do the following:

  • Limit increases in health insurance premiums and costs,
  • expand the number of people covered by health insurance, and
  • provide people with new health care rights and benefits.

Local governments are impacted by ACA provisions. For example, they are subject to a payment to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if they do not meet certain requirements. Also, the "Cadillac Tax," a 40 percent excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health plans, will be implemented in 2020, two years later than originally planned.

Federal Websites

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) ACA website is available at and should be checked periodically for updates.

  • "About the Law" includes a page of key features of the ACA and a year-by-year overview of those features.
  • "Facts & Features" gives users access to state-by-state ACA information.
  • HHS visitors can enroll in email updates on the ACA and other programs.

The IRS website also provides guidance to employers on a variety of ACA provisions.

Health Insurers

Many local governments provide health coverage to their employees through health consortiums such as the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) or other health insurers. Information about the ACA can be obtained directly from health insurers' websites.

  • Access NYSHIP for information about ACA employer requirements and other ACA topics.
  • Search "Affordable Care Act" at the NYSHIP website for more information.


Professional associations may also serve as a resource for local governments. Check association websites for updates pertaining to the ACA. For example, the New York State School Boards Association provides an overview on avoiding tax penalties under ACA for employers, including school districts and BOCES.