Affordable Care Act means new insurance for many

. (Los Angeles Times)

SEATTLE - Thousands of Washington state residents have received letters from the federal government about their health care insurance: their plans are going away.

Most of the 290,000 people that purchased their health insurance individually weren't covered by health insurance through their employers, the Seattle Times reported.  Many of those individuals sought the least expensive, stripped-down plans, which meant fewer benefits and higher deductibles.

Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance plans must meet new requirements, including limits on how much patients spend in out-of-pocket medical expenses, the Times reported. The plans must cover 10 essential benefits, including preventative care, prescription drugs and maternity care.

For some individuals, the new plans being offered are more expensive; for others, including those people who qualify for a federal subsidy, their insurance bill will go down.