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The Health Care Law & You

What the New Health Care Law Means for Family Caregivers

En español l If you are a family caregiver, the health care law benefits you and those you care for. The law makes it easier to get health coverage, provides financial help and improves insurance consumer protections.

Creates a new way to shop for health insurance

  • The Health Insurance Marketplace makes it easier to compare health plans. If you or the person you care for doesn’t have insurance, you can find a plan that works for you and your family in the Health Insurance Marketplace in your state. All plans are listed in one place, so you can make apples-to-apples comparisons of benefits and prices. All plans are required to describe what’s included in simple language, so there’s no guesswork about what’s covered. Help is available every step of the way. You can get your questions answered about finding a plan or completing the application in person, by phone or online.
  • Health plans must cover the essentials. Plans offered in the marketplace are required to cover important benefits, such as doctor visits, hospitalization, emergency care, prescriptions and more.
  • Everyone needs coverage. Starting in 2014, you are required to have health coverage. If you don’t, you may have to pay a penalty. There are some exceptions, including people with a very low income.

Financial help is available  

  • There’s financial help to pay for health insurance. Depending on your income, you may be able to get help to cover some of the cost for health insurance you purchase through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
  • You no longer have to pay out-of-pocket costs for some preventive care services. This includes services such as flu shots, mammograms and other screenings for certain cancers and diabetes.

Insurance plans are improved

  • You have more consumer protections. Insurance companies can no longer deny you coverage because of a preexisting condition such as diabetes, high-blood pressure or cancer. Health insurance companies can’t cut off your coverage or cancel your plan because you get sick or injured.
  • Your plan can’t put dollar limits on your care. In the past, health plans could place dollar limits on the care they would cover in a year or over your lifetime. Now, there are no more dollar limits on your covered care.
  • Get more preventive care. Diabetes and cholesterol screenings, mammograms and  flu shots are all covered. So you can catch the little things before they turn into bigger problems.

Improves long-term care services

  • More information is available. You can get more information about nursing home inspections, complaints against facilities and residents rights. This information will help you make decisions if you need to select a nursing home for the person you care for.
  • Services may expand. States can receive more money to expand home- and community-based services. For example, under the Community First Choice Option, states choosing to participate will get more federal dollars to provide certain home- and community-based services to people with disabilities who live at home but need long-term services and supports.

It’s time to learn more about the health care law. Go to www.HealthLawAnswers.org

Updated February 2014

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