Health Care Reform In Action: Will It Help You?
While the biggest, most structural reform of the health insurance industry will not take place until 2014, the legislation signed into law Tuesday by President Obama will deliver several immediate benefits.
HuffPost wants to know: Are these programs going to help YOU? Below are some of the reforms that will take effect this year. If you meet any of these criteria and want to help HuffPost track the effectiveness of the new law, sign up below to receive updates as the programs are implemented and to let us know how they work.
Are you uninsured due to a preexisting condition? For now, insurers can continue to discriminate against people with preexisting conditions, but within 90 days the administration must create an "interim high-risk pool" for the uninsurable. The Department of Health and Human Services can run the $5 billion program itself or farm it out to states or nonprofits. To be eligible for the program, you have to be a U.S. citizen and uninsured for six months due to a preexisting condition.
Are your kids uninsured due to a preexisting condition? Within six months the law will prohibit insurance companies from discriminating against children with preexisting conditions.
Do you have older kids who will soon "age-out" of your family plan? Young adults will be allowed to stay on their parents' plans until they turn 26, instead of being dropped at 19 or after college.
Are you a small-business owner? The bill offers tax credits -- up to 35 percent the cost of premiums -- to small businesses to make it easier to cover employees this year.
Are you paying for drugs in the "doughnut hole"? The law should begin to close the hole, which refers to a costly gap in Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, this year by offering a $250 rebate.
Have you been dropped by your insurer because you got sick? Six months from now, insurers will no longer be allowed to drop policyholders when they get sick.
For more on the immediate benefits of the bill, click here.