Your guide to understanding the federal health care law

Under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, children can no longer be denied health insurance. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Traci S.)

Under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, children can no longer be denied health insurance. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Traci S.)

After years of polarizing political wrangling, the rubber on the new health care law is beginning to meet the road. As part of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the federal government has established high risk pools to begin covering otherwise "uninsurable" Americans, insurers can no longer deny children coverage based on pre-existing conditions, and they can't put limits on lifetime coverage or on many annual plans.

"This year we get rid of some of the worst rules of the insurance industry," Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary, told Angie's List Health. "All of this is kind of a bridge strategy to get us to 2014 when there will be a new marketplace."

Angie's List polling reveals our members plan to start taking advantage of the new provisions under the law. About 50 percent of respondents say they expect to get preventive care now that insurers cover certain services in full, and a little more than 15 percent plan to add an adult child under age 26 back on their insurance plan.

Plotted on a timeline, the changes seem straightforward, but questions and concerns abound. Poll results show 96 percent of members are somewhat or very interested in the new law, but less than 20 percent feel they have an expert grasp on the subject. This isn't surprising, given the 1,000 pages of amended legislation, multiple bills and regulations that are involved.

Sixty-four percent who took our poll want to know how the new law will affect cost and your ability to access care; the rest just want to know more.

Read on as we guide you through the nuances and caveats of coming changes.

High risk pools extend coverage for sick

Cutoff age to be on parents' plan now 26

Law bans insurers from dropping coverage

Know what's considered preventive care

Lifetime limits ban may not apply to you

Rebate aims to diminish Medicare 'doughnut hole'

Small businesses get tax credit for providing insurance

Reining in rising health care costs will take time


WOW! I just subscribed to Angie's List and this post caught my attention. No, I won't "cancel my subscription" but I was intrigued by the political content of this otherwise straight forward, review oriented web service. Paragraph 2 is an Obama Regime talking point and very leftist. My healthcare is perfect the way it is. Is everybody's? No, but mine is so leave me out of this quagmire. Is the "Federal Healthcare Law" government run? ABSOLUTELY! When my overtly oppressive government threatens to penalize me if I don't buy a product (health insurance) then its government run. Providing healthcare to everybody sounds really cool albeit in a drug induced haze on a different planet. Providing healthcare for everyone sounds interestingly similar to a Socialist redistribution of wealth (my wealth, my children's wealth...) and thats not the culture that me and my forefathers bought into. If you want everybody to have healthcare then YOU PAY FOR IT. LEAVE ME OUT OF IT. The costs are too high, the debt will destroy our American way of life. Stop smoking crack and get your head out of your liberal dream world.

Im so surprised and sorry to see those people who are so frightened by this issue of health care and politics. Why is politics such a taboo subject when its one of the most necessary and powerful subjects that good citizens must know in order to be responsible members of a society? Why not welcome this landmark victory which is a move to save lives of children and adults in this country. Until you've heard personal stories of those who have lost sisters, brothers and close friends then you havent felt the true reality of not having adaqute health care.

It is very helpful that Angie's list and other informational sources are reading, analyzing, and presenting what this or any other bill actually says. The synopsis was not written as a pro or con recommendation, only an explanation of what is really contained in a passed piece of legislation. Unfortunately the bloggers here who choose to view it as a political piece are the same who have misunderstood all along and listened to the folks against anything we really need. There is no government run healthcare system included in the bill; only some protections for us and rules for the insurance companies to follow for all of us. This is all about private insurance plans and coverages and will do nothing to government spending, except for the normal increases in costs the insurance companies always come up with. Can these people not read the bill or explanations from unbiased sources? It would be great to have a general healthcare program run by the government, vis-a-vis medicare, available to us as a competitive alternative to the insurance companies. Alas, not even on the horizon. Thank you Angie's list for helping us understand this legislation.

Thank you,Angies List, for providing important information and clarification that everyone needs to know! (even conservative wing-nuts) Thanks again.

John Shaffer, Did you even read the articles or did you immediately decide that what ever Sucks News told you was correct? The article about preventive care specifically mentions that colonoscopies are covered for those between 50 and 75. All others, this series of articles describes the features and limits of a new law. It does not claim that the new law is the best (I looked at every article, not a single one says that you GOT TO HAVE THIS), nor does it tell anyone to vote democrat next election time. Rhoda - if you get to choose your insurance company, you cannot call it government run healthcare. And why don't you write an article about how much you are against the new healthcare laws. Make sure you include an accurate listing of benefits the new law takes away, who is being forced to get healthcare and how many of those really hate it. The articles in this newsletter are supposed to provide information and advice, they do not rant or rave. Po - how is an article that describes features of a new law propaganda. The law was passed in congress, signed by the president. It is done, until we get a republican president together with a republican congress it will remain in effect. The majority of the members of congress signed off on this. If you have a serious problem, take it to your congressman.

Health Care whethre you agree or not is here to stay. It is time we as a people put thew Faux news and republican talking points to the side and realize that it is going to have an affect on how we do business and how service can and will be effected. The more places such as this website talking about it. Will bring a better understanding of what this reform is about.

To those narrow-minded people threatening to cancel their subscription: Please do. You obviously don't understand the importance of a free exchange of information. You would rather stifle opposing viewpoint and further your ignorance. Angie's List will do well without you.

I CONCUR WITH MANY AMD ESPECIALLY John D: " thanks for this thorough analysis of the health care reform. Don't be detered by those who want to politicize something as important as the health of our citizens.

I am canceling Angies List if this kind of propaganda is published.

Can anyone in here spewing Faux News BS tell me how codifying the existence of the private insurance companies is anywhere near a "government run healthcare" system? And can anyone glorifying the efficacy of the private sector in this matter explain why the US healthcare system ranks dead last among developed nations and trails several developing nations as well? I didn't come here to have a political debate, but people just spouting off absurdities because an article fails to conform to the screaming tantrums that dominate the mainstream media is just too much to ignore. You knew it was an article about healthcare before you read it. If your mind was already made up, the article wasn't for you in the first place.

I can't resist adding--any govt program or law has associated costs (and hopefully benefits to society). Angie's List doesn't usually talk about stress to state budgets when something like new inspection laws for wiring or lead paint etc are brought up, even though inspectors have to be trained and hired. So it seems basically some people are mad that Angie's list didn't *start* injecting politics into their articles! Their politics that is. Notice the love of free discourse as well in the "delete this article or else!!"

Please don't listen to crazies like David who can't tell the difference between facts and "propaganda" (unless your articles are in fact full of lies). Until healthcare is better in this country, I need all the consumer info I can get! That includes how any new govt laws will affect my healthcare (for good or ill). Just as I welcome coverage about any new laws for roofer standards or car sale laws, how thyese new laws will affect me personally is important info to know--no matter which way I vote.

You have not read the Obomacare bill. It is obvious you are only repeating the sound bites produced by the bill supporters

PM - this is the silliest analogy I have read in a long time. We are talking about peoples lives, not dents on cars. Nothing in the health bill remotely covers cosmetic surgery. The society benefits with a healthy workforce. Stop listening to the wackos who demonize the healthcare reform. Has negative responder on here actually READ the Angies List article? If you don't want government subsidized medicine then I expect you to turn down your Medicare and/or Vets coverage and pay it yourself. Then we will see how you like the private insurance industry.

Just remember that insurance was always meant to help pay for what COULD happen. Think what would happen to your premiums if auto insurance companies were suddenly required to pay for the dings and dents you had a year before you took out the insurance - or to cover your oil changes and new tires. What if your homeowner's insurance were required to pay for the damage from a small fire that took place before you took out the insurance or to pay for you to remodel or repaint your house. This is what we're asking health insurance companies to do - pay for regular maintenance (no charge for preventive care) and repairs for things that took place before you took out the policy (pre-existing conditions will no longer be excluded). And we expect this with no increase in premium?

Be careful about what you are buying into. This new Obama care will not cover things like colonoscopy's as preventative medicine. That will cost you out of pocket about $3000. Now tell me how many people will stop getting them? If you do not believe me check it out!

I'm a supporter of health reform--in fact I wish Congress had decided to improve and expand Medicare and give it to everybody. Having said that--I don't think Angie's List should get involved in politics. Target did--and now I don't shop there anymore.

i thinks its time to put a yoke around the health care rip-off industry.

Rhoda mistaken. This bill is NOT gov't run 'healthcare'. Britain has gov't run health care.The gov't is providing health insurance to people and regulating insurance companies harmful policies. They don't 'run' health care (except for the Veteran's administration.)

Angie's List - thanks for this thorough analysis of the health care reform. Don't be detered by those who want to politicize something as important as the health of our citizens. Medicare is a government run health insurance system and has a higher approval rate than private health insurance. I feel sorry for those who refuse to get the facts about this law and instead listen to the hatemongers who want to scare the public.

Geeze; It's just information. Where do you people come from?

When did Angie's list begin to promote this kind of liberal propaganda? Stick to facts!!! I do not appreciate my fees being used to disseminate left wing Talking points.

Yes, I agree "Stay away from Politics". We get enough. This is only one point of view. A lot can change before 2014. You notice how no one mentions the COSTS to us.

ignorance is not always bliss if ever. Keep us informed of the truths of the matter and not opinions of a few that are necessary true

Any discussion of the "benefits" of Obamacare that doesn't address the losses, taxes, restrictions and unwritten regulations - including the fact that it add hundreds of billions to our deficit - is unbalanced and biased toward only side of the debate. Add the other side, delete the article or cancel my membership.

Stick to advertising services and comments about services Angie. STAY OUT OF POLITICS OR I WILL CANCEL MY SUBSCRIPTION TO YOU.

What's so bad about being Liberal?

I completely disagree with the above responder. If the above responder doesn't agree with "government run anything", then that person should not accept any medicare or social security payments when he/she is eligible. I think people need to let go of labels like liberal and conservative - and that it is time for all to work together on all sides, to find common ground to find solutions to our problems including health care issues.

I think Angie's List needs to keep articles such as the one above out of its newsletters. And if you chose to display it, then also display articles by others who, like myself, are vehemently against government run health care. Is this what Angie's list is all about? I think you have put angie's list in a very liberal point of view, and for me, this is not good at all. Stick with your original concept and don't go anywhere else. there are many U.S. citizens that loathe the idea of a government run anything. PLEASE GET RID OF THIS ARTICLE or ADD ONE TALKING ABOUT HOW A GOVERNMENT RUN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IS DETRIMENTAL TO OUR HEALTH.

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