By Patricia Barry
Need help understanding the new health
care law? You’re not alone. The law is huge,
with many details still to be worked out.
But we’ve boiled it down to the basics—to
help you find out what it means to you. Look
inside to find your situation.
A User’s Guide to
10Things You Need to Know About the New Law
was rejected by
companies for a
takes only a
the new law
he can’t be
Helps 32 million more Americans
Makes preexisting medical
conditions a thing of the past.
Insurers can’t use them to deny
coverage for children from this
year on, or adults starting in 2014.
Guarantees basic benefits for
everyone in Medicare, makes pre-
ventive services free for most, and
gradually closes the “doughnut
hole” in the Part D drug program.
Sets up a temporary program
in July to help people with pre-
existing health conditions obtain
Provides new benefits for most
people who already have insur-
ance, such as coverage for adult
children until age 26.
Leaves medical decisions
in the hands of you and your
Requires most people to have
coverage by 2014 but offers
subsidies for those with moderate
or low income and makes more
people eligible for Medicaid.
Creates state-run insurance
exchanges offering a menu of
private insurance plans for people
who are uninsured, self-employed
or between jobs (in 2014).
Offers immediate tax credits
to help small businesses buy
insurance for employees.
Keeps Medicare financially
sound for nearly 10 more years
and reduces the U.S. deficit by an
estimated $143 billion.