The 2010 Affordable Care Act will reform health insurance, over several years. Some new provisions are already in place; most changes took place in January 2014. This law holds insurance companies more accountable, expands coverage for young adults, offers small-business tax credits, and provides access to insurance for uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions.

Health Insurance



School education

Concerning the age of entry to compulsory education in the U.S., it varies, according to the state, between 5 and 7 years of age, 6 being the most common; the age of exit varies between 16 and 18 years of age, the most common being 16. Secondary education in the U.S. occurs in grades 7-12, depending upon the laws and policies of states and local school districts.

There is no national structure, curriculum or governing law; all laws and policies are set and enforced by the 50 state governments and the over 14,000 local school districts. All states and school districts have set the secondary school graduation level as the completion of 12th grade, and the common name for the secondary graduation qualification is the High School Diploma. This diploma name covers a variety of awards for different curricula and standards.

There are Honors/Regents, academic/college preparatory, vocational, and general/basic high school diploma tracks. There is a statewide minimum course requirement and other graduation requirements in each State which usually corresponds to the general/basic track.

Vocational and academic/college preparatory or honors/Regents diplomas usually have additional set curricular requirements and/or standards which aspiring graduates must meet or exceed. In addition, the majority of US secondary school districts and private schools permit students to participate in the Advanced Placement (AP) programme of the College Board. This programme allows qualified students to take college level introductory courses in selected subjects taught by certified faculty.

Examinations are offered in each AP subject at the end of an academic year; a score of 3 or higher generally results in universities awarding advanced standing in that subject - exempting the student from distribution requirements.

A growing number of secondary schools also offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) as an optional track; completion of IB requirements usually requires an additional summer or semester of study beyond the 12th year. The title "High School Diploma" remains the most commonly recognized name for the U.S. secondary school leaving diploma. Contents of the curriculum leading to this diploma are contained in the record of studies leading to it and grades (marks) obtained, called a High or Secondary School Transcript.

Academic year: September to June

Languages of instruction: English