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Health Care Reform Explained

Answers to Your Questions About the Health Care Law

Confused about the new health care reforms? You’re not alone.

The Affordable Care Act is full of new benefits, rules, penalties and projects, spread out over several years.

To help you understand what the health care law means for you and your family, the AARP Bulletin has answered your questions about:

Access to Coverage

Q. If my health insurance company denies my claim, does the health care reform law make it easier to fight that decision ... More

Q. I understand the new reform law helps employers offer health care coverage to their early retirees ... More

Q. I'm over 50 and have been turned away by insurers because of my health problems ... More

Q. My insurance company told me my 23-year-old daughter could no longer be on my family plan. I've heard I can insure her now... More

Q. I'm disabled, in my 50s, and over the eligibility line for Medicaid. But I can’t afford health insurance ... More

Q. Does the new health care reform law eliminate annual and lifetime limits on health care coverage in insurance policies? ... More

Q. If health reform is so important, why do we have to wait four years for it to take effect? ... More

Q. Is it true the federal health insurance plan for people with pre-existing conditions is being improved? More

Access to Care

Q. I'm having trouble finding a primary care doctor now. Will it be harder for me to get one when millions more people ... More

Q. Does the law limit the treatment my doctor can give me? Will some faceless bureaucrat decide I'm "too old" for surgery? ... More

Q. If we use wellness programs, can we get a discount on our insurance costs? ... More

Q. Must insurance companies offer free cancer screenings and other preventive health benefits? ... More

Q. What does health reform do to help people with mental illness get the treatment they need? ... More

Q. Will the health reform law help me live in my own home longer and avoid a nursing home ... More

Q. Does the new law require insurers to offer dental coverage? ... More

Rules and Requirements

Q. Will I be forced to buy insurance? What if I can't afford it? ... More

Q. We own a small business. Will the law force us to provide our part-time employees with health insurance? ... More

Q. What does it mean if my health plan is "grandfathered"? ... More

Q. Will a Muslim be required to buy health insurance? There are lots of rumors on the Internet about this ... More

Q. I heard the IRS is hiring 16,500 agents just to make sure we buy insurance ... More

Q. Is it true that next year I won't be able to use my flexible spending account to pay for over-the-counter drugs ... More

Q. I'm told the new health care law doesn't apply to retiree plans. Is that possible? ... More

Q. What are the new health care reform benefits that start in 2011? Do the recent court cases stop the changes? ... More

Savings and Costs

Q. President Obama says health care reform will save us money, but others say we'll  pay more in taxes ... More

Q. My premium for an individual health insurance policy is going up 22 percent. Can they do that?... More

Q. Is there a big new tax on home sales that is supposed to raise money to pay for health reform? ... More

Q. I need health insurance now. Can the health reform law help me find an affordable policy? ... More

Medicare, Medicaid and Other Insurance

Q. I have many health problems, low income, no insurance and don't qualify for Medicaid. Will the new law help people like me? ... More

Q. I've heard that government payments to Medicare Advantage will be reduced or stopped altogether ... More

Q. I'm a Marine Corps veteran with health coverage through TriCare and the V.A. Will there be changes to my coverage ... More

Q. How does the new law strengthen Medicare while reducing its funds? ... More

Q. Will Medicare provide free services to help quit smoking? ... More

Q. How does the law stop Medicare and Medicaid fraud? ... More

Q. I have a Medigap policy. Will it change? ... More

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