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Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

Quiz: Health Care Reform Myth or Fact?

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Once health care reform takes full effect, you may need to change your insurance plan.

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Once health care reform takes full effect, you may need to change your insurance plan.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

For most Americans, the health care reform law won’t impact their current health insurance plan. People who get insurance at work, through Medicare, Medicaid or the VA will keep their existing coverage.

 

 

However, some people who buy their own insurance currently have policies that do not fully comply with the law. If that's the case with your plan, you'll have the option of buying a new policy that complies with the law or sticking with the one you have for one more year. 

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Who can use the new health insurance Marketplaces?

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Who can use the new health insurance Marketplaces?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Your state's new online Marketplace, also called an Exchange, was created mostly for people without insurance from an employer. But anyone can use it to check out their options. The Marketplace aims to make it easy to compare health plans -- sort of like an online travel site for booking tickets.
 

As long as you live in the U.S., are a citizen, and aren't in jail, starting Oct. 1, 2013, you can buy a policy on the Marketplace. The insurance starts Jan. 1, 2014.

Under health care reform, women will pay more than men.

Under health care reform, women will pay more than men.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

In the past, insurance companies didn't treat men and women equally. For instance, a 22-year-old woman might pay 150% more than a man for the same coverage. In 2014, the Affordable Care Act will prevent insurance companies from charging higher rates based on your gender.

If you're pregnant, health reform will make:

If you're pregnant, health reform will make:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

In the past, some insurance companies considered pregnancy a pre-existing condition and could turn down pregnant women. Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act will prevent companies from charging you more or denying you insurance because you have a pre-existing condition. Whatever your health history, insurance companies won't be able to keep you from enrolling.

Health care reform replaces private insurance with government plans.

Health care reform replaces private insurance with government plans.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

The federal government runs Medicare. State governments run Medicaid, with federal financial support. But the Affordable Care Act does not create any government-run insurance plans. Most people will still enroll in an insurance policy through work, like they do now. If you don't, you can buy a policy from the Marketplace. All the plans on your state's Marketplace are offered by private companies and not directly by the government.

When does the law go fully into effect?

When does the law go fully into effect?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

The Affordable Care Act takes full effect Jan. 1, 2014. That's when most of the major changes happen -- like extending coverage to millions of Americans using tax credits to make health care more affordable, and expanding Medicaid in some states. You can enroll in a health plan on your state's Marketplace starting Oct. 1, 2013. The coverage and your payments start Jan. 1, 2014.

Under health care reform, young adults can be covered under their parents' health insurance up to:

Under health care reform, young adults can be covered under their parents' health insurance up to:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Before health care reform, young adults often went without health insurance. They were less likely to have a job that offered benefits. Now, a young adult can stay on their parents’ insurance policy until they turn 26, if the plan covers dependents. This part of the Affordable Care Act is already in effect. Beginning in 2014, young adults up to age 26 can stay on their parents’ plan even if they are offered coverage through their own employer.

The Affordable Care Act cuts Medicare benefits for seniors.

The Affordable Care Act cuts Medicare benefits for seniors.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

The Affordable Care Act doesn't cut benefits. Seniors on Medicare actually receive improved benefits, like better prescription drug coverage and yearly wellness exams.

The Affordable Care Act does cut Medicare spending. Here's how: It reduces payments to some providers and private insurers that offer coverage to people with Medicare. It also creates steps to prevent fraud and waste in government programs.

People who don't have insurance will have to pay a penalty.

People who don't have insurance will have to pay a penalty.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

If you don't have health insurance in 2014, you won't have to buy it. But you'll probably have to pay a penalty when you file your 2014 taxes. There are two ways your fee may be calculated. You may owe $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, up to $285 for a family. Or you may owe 1% of your gross income for the year. You’ll owe whichever amount is higher. The penalty greatly increases over the next few years.

 

Why the penalty? It's incentive to get people who can afford health insurance to buy it. A mix of healthy and sick people covered by insurance helps keep the costs down.

Health care reform will make your health insurance costs go up.

Health care reform will make your health insurance costs go up.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

It’s hard to know exactly what to expect. Some people will see their costs go down, like people with pre-existing medical conditions, some women, and older people.

However, some healthy people -- especially younger adults -- may see their costs rise. Since insurance companies won’t be allowed to charge sick people more, they may even out the costs by raising prices on the healthy.

Reform will probably make it harder for people to find a doctor. 

Reform will probably make it harder for people to find a doctor. 

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

There's already a shortage of doctors in the U.S. And since up to 32 million more people will get coverage in 2014, the problem will most likely get worse.

 

The Affordable Care Act does try to help. For instance, it rewards doctors who work in underserved communities and funds training for new primary care doctors. However, even with these incentives, some people may still have trouble finding doctors.

Many preventive health services are covered by private health plans under health reform.

Many preventive health services are covered by private health plans under health reform.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

The Affordable Care Act requires health plans that began covering people on or after Sept. 23, 2010, to cover preventive services. Those include mammograms, a prescription for birth control, and breastfeeding support. If you get any of these services, as well as several others, you won't have a co-pay, co-insurance, or a deductible. However, older policies -- from before that date -- may still charge for preventive care.

Your Score:     You correctly answered   out of   questions.
Your Score:     You correctly answered   out of   questions.

Nice job! You have a healthy knowledge of the health reform law. Keep following the news, as the law won’t take full effect until next year.

Good work! You're pretty familiar with what health reform has in store. You've got a good background to grow on. 

You're learning about health reform. There are lots of details, but you're on your way.

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