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 Leeza Constantoulakis, AACN’s Government Affairs Assistant at

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is a nonpartisan organization that serves to educate and advocate for sound policy that improves nursing education, research, and practice. 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: 2015

Open Enrollment for 2015 begins on November 15th and ends February 15th, 2015.  Beginning in 2015, open enrollment periods will be 2 months long.

The 2015 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 15, 2014 to update their information for 2015 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 2015 coverage, click here.
Consumers receiving the Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC) should log into the system and update their information for 2015 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 2015 with their APTC unchanged from 2014. 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. For additional details, see:

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.



Implementation of the ACA: What Nurses Need to Know

As the nation works to implement the ACA, the current healthcare delivery system will undergo many complex changes. Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH, Senior Advisor to the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), addresses the expansion of insurance coverage with the initial launch of the new Health Insurance Marketplace and answers questions on these timely topics. Ellen Marie Whelan, PhD, RN, FAAN, Senior Advisor for the Innovation Center at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, discusses the impact of the ACA on nursing practice and offers some guidance for nurses as to how best to prepare for the transition. To view the recording: Login to AACN’s Collaboration Community.

A Message from HRSA Administrator Wakefield on the Marketplace Enrollment

On February 24, 2014, HRSA Administration Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, offered a message to the healthcare community on enrollment in the Marketplace.












Get Covered: A Special Message from the President

Interested in learning the Administration’s progress since the Health Insurance Marketplace? Listen to President Obama’s most recent address from February 21, 2014.



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.


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

Medscape - New Resources for Healthcare Providers
Note: Free Medscape Account Required

Information for Special Populations

State-Based Information

Strategic guidance and review of the Toolkit’s outline was provided by AACN’s inaugural class of Faculty Policy Intensive Fellows (2013-2014), including:


Patricia Brennan PhD, RN, MS, DPNAP
Associate Professor
Samuel Merritt University

Melondie Carter, DSN, RN
Associate Professor
University of Alabama

Mary Garnica, DNP, APNFNP-BC
Assistant Professor of Nursing
University of Central Arkansas

Joanne Noone, PhD, RN, CNE
Associate Professor, Associate Dean, Ashland Campus
Oregon Health & Science University

Camille Burnett, PhD, MPA, RN, APHN-BC, BScN, DSW
Assistant Professor and Roberts Scholar
Department of Family, Community and Mental Health Systems
University of Virginia School of Nursing

Lilia A. Fuentes, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC
Assistant Professor – Department of Nursing
Master of Science in Nursing Program Coordinator
The University of Texas – Pan American

Sharon Guthrie, PhD, ARNP, CPNP, NCSN, RN-BC
Assistant Professor
Mount Mercy University

Andrea Sonenberg, PhD, WHNP, CNM
Associate Professor
Pace University