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Understanding The Affordable Care Act

Washington, DC (NAPSI) - As the Affordable Care Act is set to be fully implemented,  there is still much confusion about how the law will affect you and your  family. Here are 10 things to know about the health care law’s  protections and benefits, courtesy of AARP:

1. Health insurance companies  can no longer drop your health coverage if you become sick or disabled.

2. Insurance companies cannot  discriminate against you because of your health conditions or gender. That  means health insurance companies can no longer charge you more simply because  of your health status or gender.

3. Insurers cannot deny health  insurance to anyone under age 19 because of a pre-existing condition, such as  cancer, diabetes or heart disease. In 2014, Americans of all ages will be  afforded this protection.

4. The health care law stops  insurance companies from limiting lifetime coverage for essential health  benefits. In 2014, this applies to yearly limits, too.

5. Preventing illness with the  right immunizations and screenings will be simpler and less expensive. Most  insurance plans, including Medicare, now must cover preventive benefits such  as immunizations and screenings for diabetes and certain cancers. Be sure to  check with your insurance plan about what preventive services are covered  with no out-of-pocket cost to you.

6. If you are uninsured,  finding affordable health coverage is now easier, as it can be purchased via  your state’s Health Insurance Marketplaces. It’s like an online  shopping mall. You’ll be able to compare the benefits and costs of health  plans side by side and pick the plan that works best for you and your family.  For more information on your Health Insurance Marketplace opening October  2013, visit www.HealthLawAnswers.org.

7. Your children can stay on  your family policy up to age 26, even if they don’t live with you or  are married.

8. You can sleep well knowing  that your guaranteed Medicare benefits are safe. The Affordable Care Act  strengthens Medicare, and your guaranteed Medicare benefits are protected,  including doctor and hospital visits and rehabilitation services. If you have  Medicare, there aren’t any other steps you need to take with regard to  the new health law.

9. The “doughnut hole”   is going away and the improved coverage means your out-of-pocket costs for  prescription drugs will be lower if you have Medicare Part D. If you have  high drug costs and reach the doughnut hole this year, you will get a 52.5  percent discount on brand-name prescription drugs and a 21 percent discount  on generic prescription drugs. Visit the Doughnut Hole Calculator at www.aarp.org/doughnuthole to learn  more about when you might reach the doughnut hole and potential medication  options that may reduce your costs or help you avoid the coverage gap  entirely.

10. There’s help to pay  for insurance coverage. If your job does not offer health coverage and you  have a limited income, you may be able to get financial help to pay for  insurance coverage purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

If you are a small-business owner, you will have more insurance choices  and opportunities to qualify for tax credits.

To learn more about how the law affects you and your loved ones, visit www.HealthLawAnswers.org in  English, www.MiLeydeSalud.org in  Spanish or call 1-888-702-9345 for more information.