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What's Next for You and Your Doctors Under the New Health Care Law?

Worried health care reform will cause you to wait for treatment? Don't be.

— Dan Saelinger/Clare Agency; Prop and Wardrobe Stylist: Laurie Rabb; Hair and Makeup: Patrycja for Halley Resources

In late March, Ruth Kevess-Cohen, M.D., noticed a change in her patients. Usually they came to her Silver Spring, Maryland, office asking about their blood sugar levels or blood pressure. Now they had a new concern: Should they be worried about the new health care reform law? Would they still be able to get in to see her? Would they still get the same treatment for their diabetes or high blood pressure? “It’s on everyone’s mind,” says Cohen, an internist who specializes in geriatric medicine.

Much has been written about how health care reform will affect patients. But very little has been written about its impact on providers—and how that will affect you. Fortunately, for people over 50, the news is mostly good. “I’m telling my patients not to worry,” says Cohen. “The changes at this point do not affect the personal relationships between patients and their doctors. Patients can see their same doctors as before, doctors will continue to refer them for tests and to specialists as before, and patients can still get their prescriptions at their local pharmacy or through mail order.”

Here are the provisions of the bill most likely to affect you and your physicians—and advice on how to ensure you get the best care possible.

1. Seeing your doctor—when you want to
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