Your guide to understanding the federal health care law
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."
Federal health care law timeline
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.