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Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

Understanding Health Insurance - Help for the Uninsured

Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides options for those seeking health insurance. It provides a health insurance marketplace that allows people to compare health plans, look for a plan that fits their needs, and find out if they may qualify for lower costs. It also sets guidelines for insurance companies, including rules about cost increases, coverage for preexisting conditions, and requirements for certain kinds of coverage, such as preventive care.

The ACA works in partnership with individual states. Parts of it may vary from state to state. Be sure to find out the options for health coverage in your state. You can learn more about the Affordable Care Act at or at

Health centers and state programs

Federally funded health centers provide medical and dental care for people who don't have health insurance. Health centers may offer services such as checkups, pregnancy care, immunizations for children, and other medical treatment. The amount you pay for care depends on your income.

Many states offer programs that help people get health insurance. Medicaid provides health coverage for certain families or individuals who are eligible. The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides low-cost insurance for children whose families don't qualify for Medicaid coverage but cannot afford private insurance.

There are also ways to get help with medicine costs. Find out whether the drug company that makes your medicine has a patient-assistance program. Some companies offer free or discounted drugs for people who cannot afford them.

Find more resources and information for the uninsured at:

  • Find out what no-cost or low-cost health services are near you.
  • Learn about programs for children, such as the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
  • Find resources and information for the uninsured.
  • Learn more about getting health insurance.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

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