Your Resource for Answers to Common Questions about Insurance Coverage.

Health Care Reform

When will I start to see changes to my health plan because of healthcare reform?

Many of the provisions in the new law won’t take effect for several years. Some provisions took effect in September 2010. Most of those early provisions won’t affect your plan until it renews.

No, you can use your health plan as you normally would.

In general, it’s hard to say how your plan’s benefit design and premium rates may change as a result of the health care reform laws.

As part of healthcare reform, and depending on your health plan, a range of preventive services will be available to you at no cost. Contact your carrier for a list of services that will be covered 100 percent as part of preventive care.

The Affordable Care Act exempts most plans that existed on March 23, 2010 – the day the law was enacted – from some of the law’s consumer protections. This preserves consumers’ rights to keep the coverage they already had before health reform. If you have health coverage from a plan that existed on March 23, 2010 – and that has covered at least one person continuously from that day forward – your plan may be considered a “grandfathered” plan. Many of the law’s consumer protections that took effect on September 23, 2010, apply to all plans, whether they are grandfathered or not. Please refer to http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/rights/grandfathered-plans/ for more detailed information.

No. The law does not mean that you’re now covered under a free government health plan. Such a change isn’t part of healthcare reform. One of the goals of healthcare reform is to create additional health insurance options, whether from private health insurers or expanded public programs like Medicaid.

As always, you should carefully evaluate your personal situation and insurance options before making any decisions about your healthcare coverage. Only you can make sure you have the healthcare coverage you and your family need and want.

Parents have new options to cover their children. If your children are under age 26, you can generally insure them if your policy allows for dependent coverage. The only exception is if you have an existing job-based plan, and your children can get their own job-based coverage.