What You Need to Know About Health Care Reform
In Case You Didn't Know
You may have benefited if:
- You have not been able to afford health insurance.
- Your income has been a little too high to get Medicaid.
- You have young adult children who need insurance coverage.
- You have a chronic or serious health condition.
Fewer Limits on Your Coverage
With health reform, health plans can no longer deny you coverage or say that your coverage has run out.
You can have a long-standing health problem and still get insurance. No matter how good or bad your health might be, health plans must let you buy insurance. Children age 18 and younger must be offered insurance coverage by insurers even if they already have a health problem, called a pre-existing condition. If your child develops a chronic condition, such as diabetes or asthma, your insurance still must cover your child. Plus, having a health problem won’t increase how much you pay for your insurance.
You do not have to worry that your health coverage will run out. Your health plan cannot limit what it spends on your covered benefits each year or in your lifetime.
More Affordable Health Plans
Most people are now subject to the Affordable Care Act’s “individual mandate.” That means if you don’t have health insurance, you may be on the hook for a tax penalty. But don't panic. The government has set up ways to help you.
You may be able to buy less expensive insurance through a Marketplace , also called an Exchange. There is a Marketplace available for every state where you can shop for coverage options, select and buy a health plan. This may help if you don’t have insurance now or if you have trouble paying for it. You may have already bought a plan through the Marketplace. If so, you can compare plans and buy a new one, if you like, each year during the annual open enrollment period.
You can review your new insurance options through a Marketplace. You can use a Marketplace online, in person, or by phone. There are customer service representatives who have been trained to answer your questions and who are available by phone. There are also people working in community-based organizations called assisters and navigators who can help you sign up for a health plan in person.
Find out more about the Marketplace in your state.