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The ACA to Ignite the American Dream: Entrepreneurship

By Adrienne Sheares – Community Manager & Digital Strategist at Young Invincibles

“I think I want to try working for myself full-time,” I excitedly confessed to my mom after completing my first freelance project. Like many of my peers, I turned to entrepreneurship to avoid being stuck on the serial internship track that became a booming industry, thanks to the recession. To say my mom’s reaction to my announcement was less that enthusiastic was an understatement. She immediately bombarded me with millions of questions, the majority of which were related to my health care options.

It’s not that she didn’t support my dreams, but like many, she was wary of entrepreneurship because of the lack of affordable health care options for individuals.  Thankfully, I was able to land a job in my field at Young Invincibles, easing my mom’s worries.

However, with the Affordable Care Act taking full effect in 2014, I couldn’t help wondering what impact it would have on the amount of people who pursue entrepreneurship.

Studies have shown that the ACA could lead to at least a 33% increase in the number of new businesses over the next few years.


  • Well, instead of shopping around for expensive individual plans, you will have the opportunity to purchase from those health plans on the new insurance marketplace – and get tax credits to help you buy that plan while your business gets off the ground.
  • In fact, if you’re working from the ground up and starting with no income at all, you can enroll in free health insurance through Medicaid in many states.
  • Just like if you were to opt into your employer’s plan, the plans sold on the marketplace will have to meet basic standards for cost and coverage.  All plans will have to cover 10 categories of “essential health benefits,” and certain preventive services at no additional cost.
  • Before the ACA, if you, your partner or your children had a pre-existing condition like asthma or diabetes, finding affordable health insurance outside of your employer was an expensive nightmare. Starting in 2014, insurers cannot deny coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions or charge them more for it.

What does all this mean?

Thanks to the ACA, this means people will be able to work for themselves without worrying that they won’t be able to find or afford health insurance.  Now that you know you can get affordable health coverage, what’s stopping you from executing that great idea?