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The familiar world of health insurance is going through a lot of changes. If you're trying to get your bearings, take a look at what's different since the health reform bill became law.

The highlights:

  • Your children can't be denied coverage (and beginning in 2014, adults as well) because of health problems they had in the past. This is known as a "preexisting condition."
  • If you have children who are 19 to 26, they can stay on your insurance plan.
  • Insurance plans, with some exceptions, now cover some preventive medical services. You won't need to pay a co-payment or reach the deductible. These preventive services include certain vaccinations and screenings.

In the fall of 2013, health insurance Marketplaces were set up in each state. Marketplaces, also known as Exchanges, are websites where you can shop for coverage

What You'll Find in the Health Insurance Marketplace

What is it? The health insurance Marketplace is a new way to find health coverage. It lets you compare the costs and benefits of different plans.

Each state has a Marketplace. The federal government oversees the Marketplaces in some states. Other states run their own Marketplace.

The Marketplace offers different plans that vary by:

  • Types of services they provide
  • How much you have to pay for them

Plans can't turn you down because you have a health problem or you've had one in the past.

Who can use it? To get health insurance from an exchange, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal immigrant
  • Not be in prison
  • Lack access to affordable coverage through an employer

Because of that, the Marketplaces are mostly be for people who are buying insurance on their own, as well as small businesses.

How does the Marketplace help me find a plan? Your Marketplace has tools and information to help you select between options, such as:

  • Websites for comparing available plans
  • Information in simple language about how each plan works
  • A toll-free phone number you can call for help
  • Calculator that shows you how much your options cost
  • Help with enrolling in government programs such as Medicaid if you're eligible