Government Affairs

Understanding the Health Insurance Marketplace: A Tool Kit for Nursing Faculty

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This tool kit was created for AACN faculty members to enhance their understanding of the Health Insurance Marketplace and what it means for nurse educators, students, and patients. The resources below were designed for faculty and student use. To suggest additional resources for this page, please contact Bianca Singh, AACN’s Policy Assistant at

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is a nonpartisan organization that serves to educate and advocate for sound health policy. AACN views federal advocacy as having an integral role in the ability to shape, advance, and promote a professional nursing workforce that meets America’s healthcare needs.

While AACN did not take an official position on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [Public Law No: 111-148], the organization supported a number of provisions that improved nursing education, research, and practice. AACN’s leadership recognizes the responsibility to educate our constituents about the law and what the Marketplace means for clinical practice, faculty, students, and patients. To review these provisions,

Open Enrollment: 2016

Open Enrollment for 2016 begins on November 1st, 2015 and ends January 31st, 2016. 

The 2016 open enrollment period will mirror that of the traditional health insurance market as much as possible. Therefore, consumers who take no action will be automatically reenrolled in their current plan. However, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is encouraging all consumers to log into their accounts starting November 1st, 2015 to update their information for 2016 and compare plans. With many new issuers offering coverage on the Federally Facilitated Marketplace for the upcoming enrollment period, consumers may be able to find new plans which suit their specific needs better in some way.  For more information on transitioning to 2016 coverage, click here.
Consumers receiving the Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC) should log into the system and update their information for 2016 during the open enrollment period. Those who do not take action will not be automatically dropped from the program, however. Consumers whose tax data indicates they are likely still eligible will be auto-enrolled in their same plan for 2016 with their APTC unchanged from 2015. Efforts will be made to reach out to those who did not allow access to their tax data in the system or whose tax data indicates there may be a change in eligibility to ensure updated information. See additional details.

resources for faculty

Assisting Your Patients: Navigating the Health Insurance Marketplace

This slide deck was created for faculty and students to understand the basics of the Health Insurance Marketplace. It provides an overview of key questions nurses may be asked by their patients and how to direct them to the best resources.





Teaching Nursing Students About the Health Insurance Marketplace: Example Activities and Assignments

This slide deck offers faculty suggestions on assignments, discussion questions, and activities that could help nursing students better understand the Marketplace.


Success by the Numbers: 2016 Open Enrollment
Watch this video to learn about the numbers behind 2016 Open Enrollment.




A Message from HHS Secretary Burwell on the ACA

On June 25, 2015, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Sylvia M. Burwell, offered a statement discussing the Affordable Care Act’s tax credits.










HHS Explains Delivery System Reform
Watch this video to learn about HHS efforts in building a health care delivery service that puts patients at the center.



Kaiser Family Foundation Presents: The YouToons Get Ready for Obamacare: Health Insurance Changes Coming Your Way Under the Affordable Care Act

Watch this video to understand the basics on the Health Insurance Marketplace. Many faculty have used this video to spark online discussions with their students.


Kaiser Family Foundation Presents: Health Insurance Explained: The YouToons Have it Covered

Watch this video to understand a breakdown of important insurance concepts, such as premiums, deductibles, and provider networks


If I Have a Faculty Practice that is a Small Business, What Will the Changes Mean?


Where Can I Find Out More Information about the ACA?

Basic Information about the Affordable Care Act


Additional Information on Marketplace Enrollment

Information for Special Populations

State-Based Information

Strategic guidance and review of the original Tool kit’s outline was provided by AACN’s inaugural class of Faculty Policy Intensive Fellows (2013-2014).