Whenever the final book on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is written, the year 2016 may not garner the most lengthy of chapters in terms of implementation. Most of Obamacare’s policy and rules changes have been enacted (or in some rare cases, tweaked.) Heck, it might not garner much more than a footnote. But benefits professionals across the nation know better—2016 is a shaping up to be a pivotal year in the PPACA story.

Start with the numbers. Now that the nation is a few years into PPACA, there’s no consensus on whether the law is making health insurance more affordable or insuring more people. Reports on health insurance rates have been widely reported, but those figures are based on parts of the law that are already in effect and carriers that have submitted rates to state insurance commissioners for 2016.

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