Discover the New Learn more

Health Care Law Time Line

What happens and when

En español | In March 2010, Congress enacted the Affordable Care Act, which is a health care law that brings a number of benefits to all Americans, including people age 50 and older. Many provisions are now in place. Others are being phased in over several years.


  • Children can’t be denied health insurance because of a preexisting condition.
  • Young adults up to age 26 can remain on their family’s health insurance plan.
  • Health insurance plans must cover more preventive services.
  • Health insurance companies can no longer drop your coverage just because you get sick.
  • Medicare covers more wellness and preventive care.


  • Coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace begins.
  • Premium subsidies are available for those with limited incomes who purchase health insurance through the marketplace.
  • More people who have a limited income are able to apply for Medicaid.
  • Insurance companies can’t put annual dollar limits on health coverage.
  • Insurance companies can no longer deny anyone health coverage because of a preexisting condition.


  • People with Medicare get discounts of 55 percent on brand-name prescription drugs and 35 percent on generic prescription drugs while in the doughnut hole.


  • Medicare Part D doughnut hole is completely closed.

It’s time to learn more about the health care law. Go to

Updated August 2014

Join the Discussion

0 | Add Yours

Please leave your comment below.

You must be logged in to leave a comment.

AARP Membership

Discounts & Benefits

    Next Article

    Read This