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Federal Health Care Reform

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Key Provisions of the Law

The federal health care reform law called the Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010. Some parts of the law apply to health insurance purchased by individuals, some apply to job-based plans, and some apply to all health coverage.

Beginning, Jan. 1, 2014, U.S. citizens and legal residents will be required by law to have health insurance coverage or pay a penalty, with some exceptions. Coverage for individuals and small businesses will be available for sale through the new Health Insurance Marketplace beginning Oct. 1, 2013, as well as outside the Health Insurance Marketplace as it has historically been offered.

Among other things, the health care law:

  • Creates the Health Insurance Marketplace
  • Requires insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions
  • Makes it illegal for health insurance companies to cancel your health insurance just because you get sick
  • Provides free preventive care, in many cases
  • Ends lifetime and yearly dollar limits on coverage of essential health benefits
  • Allows young adults up to age 26 to be covered by a parent's plan
  • Guarantees your right to appeal

Much more information about federal health care reform can be found online www.hhs.gov/healthcare.