Familiarizing yourself with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other related key terms is important to better understand your health care options. The following terms will help build your knowledge on how the ACA functions and what you can do to make sure you are covered.

Whether you're just starting to explore ACA health plans or need a little bit of a refresher, we're here to help you better understand your health coverage.

When affordable care is your priority, helping you understand the Affordable Care Act is ours.

1. Affordable Care Act (ACA)

The Affordable Care Act is sometimes referred to as "Obamacare" and has helped make health coverage affordable and available to more people. The law gives consumers subsidies that lower the cost for health coverage for households with low income levels. This law offers those with preexisting conditions or limited finances health plans that are more affordable through the health care Marketplace. The ACA also prohibits anyone from being denied coverage due to preexisting conditions.

2. Healthcare.gov

This is an exchange website run by the United States government where you can compare plans and enroll in health coverage. Healthcare.gov is filled with information regarding how to apply for health coverage and which plan options are most beneficial for you.

3. Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC)

An Advanced Premium Tax Credit is a tax credit based on your income level. It is called an Advanced Premium Tax Credit because you can decide to pay your premium in advance with all or a portion of the credit. This tax credit can reduce the monthly premium on your health coverage. A health premium is the amount of money you pay for your health care each month.

4. Metal levels

Metal levels can help show how a plan's cost and coverage are balanced. There are three different metal levels: bronze, silver, and gold. A higher metal level like gold will be more costly but will save you more money when receiving care. This is a good option for those who expect to need a lot of health care. A lower metal level like bronze will be less costly initially but will be more money when receiving care. This is a good option for those who do not expect to need a lot of health care. These categories have nothing to do with the quality of care.

5. Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR)

A Cost Sharing Reduction reduces your deductible, copayments, and coinsurance if you qualify. Qualification is based on your income information and the lower your income, the less you will pay every time you receive medical services. These extra savings are only available on silver level plans.

6. Health Savings Account (HSA)

A Health Savings Account is an account available on some plans that lets you set aside untaxed income for medical spending. When you take money out of your Health Savings Account to pay for certain medical expenses, you can take it out tax free. You can either keep the money in your account as cash savings or you can invest a percentage of the funds for tax free gains.

Information and resources

To learn about more health terms related to your health coverage, explore our Individual and family health plans Learning Center. You'll also find articles on how to save on health coverage and how to choose the right plan for you.