How will health care law influence how you shop for 2014 coverage?

Understand how the new health care law will affect you and your family moving forward.

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The Health Care Law and You

You’ve probably heard about the health care law — officially known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — and wondered how it affects you. All of us will likely feel the impact of the health care law.

Individuals will see expanded access to care. There will be millions entering the health insurance system — many for the first time. People with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied or charged more for their health insurance.

Small businesses will need to make changes to their current plans to comply with the law. Larger businesses will see less impact to products and rates. But they will see new penalties for not offering the right level of coverage or if the coverage they are offering isn’t affordable based on the employee’s pay scale.

There will be no medical underwriting. Insurers must accept anyone who applies — a practice known as “guaranteed issue.” The law regulates rates. Insurers are required to include new standardized coverage — called essential health benefits — in all health plans.

And finally, the law introduces a whole new way to buy health insurance — the Health Insurance Marketplace.

This Health Care Reform section of our website includes important information you need to know about these and other provisions of the law, and the impact they will have on individuals, businesses, and health care providers. We’ve included an overview of the key provisions of the law and a timeline of when these provisions started or when they go into effect. The site also has more detailed information that relates to your personal circumstances.

Here’s a brief description of what you’ll find on our site and areas you may want to explore:

  • About the health care law — Learn key facts about the health care law
  • Our position — Find out our view of the health care law
  • Key provisions — Browse through our listing of the major parts of the health care law
  • Frequently asked questions — Get answers to some of the most common questions asked about the health care law
  • For individual members — Learn how the law affects you, whether you have insurance, are uninsured, or are on Medicare
  • For businesses — Get the facts about how the law applies to large, mid-sized, and small businesses
  • For providers — The section highlights parts of the law that apply to health care professionals
  • Glossary of key terms — The glossary contains easy-to-understand definitions to help you understand health care reform