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    Health Care Reform Frequently Asked Questions

    What is health care reform?

    Health care reform is the unofficial name for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. President Obama signed the act into law on March 23, 2010. The bill enacts reforms to provide affordable health insurance to millions of uninsured Americans and to reduce the growth in health care spending.
    Learn more about the Affordable Care Act at External web site iconOpens new window
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    What are some of health care reform's biggest changes?

    Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, health care reform had an impact on health plans. Some of the biggest changes include:

    • Enhanced appeal procedures for consumers
    • No denied coverage for children under 19 years of age
    • Children up to age 26 may remain on parent’s policy
    • No denied coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions
    • Preventive services covered and do not include cost sharing External web site iconOpens new window

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    Does the law affect my benefits?

    As of Jan. 1, 2014, every plan sold or renewed in the individual and small group market must include all the benefits in a “benchmark” plan—a plan chosen for the state based on coverage currently available. Essential services include:

    • Ambulatory patient services
    • Emergency services
    • Hospitalization
    • Maternity and newborn care
    • Mental health and substance abuse disorder services, including behavioral health treatment
    • Prescription drugs
    • Rehabilitative services and devices
    • Laboratory services
    • Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
    • Pediatric services, including oral and vision care

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    Related Information and Resources

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