Don't expect the cost of health care to get cheaper as a result of the Supreme Court's decision largely to uphold the Affordable Care Act and its individual insurance mandate.
In fact, health care costs will likely keep rising, just as they have for some time.
The Affordable Care Act will beef up coverage, insuring tens of millions of Americans who are currently uninsured and prohibiting insurance companies from denying care to children with pre-existing health conditions.
As a result, insurance companies will be paying more. And there's little doubt their customers will foot the bill with higher premiums and co-payments for doctor visits, as the Wall Street Journal reports.
In Massachusetts, which enacted its own health care reform law in 2006 requiring residents to buy health care, premiums for an individual plan rose 18 percent over the course of three years, according to SmartMoney.
Nationwide, the cost of health care has skyrocketed. Premiums for employees rose 3.8 percent at the end of last year, and the cost of insuring a family on an employer-sponsored health care plan is expected to surpass $20,000 for the first time ever this year.
Parents covering their kids -- who under the law can stay on their parents' plans until age 26 -- may also be paying more for health care. According to The New York Times, employers have begun charging workers per dependent, increasing employee contributions.
Older Americans, on the other hand, stand to save a lot of money as a result of the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the majority of the law. The Affordable Care Act extends discounts on prescription drugs for the elderly, and because insurance companies will no longer be allowed to discriminate based on age or pre-existing conditions, older Americans could see their premiums fall.
You Will Not Be Denied Over A Pre-existing Condition
Health insurance companies won't be allowed to deny coverage to Americans in frail health, according to <a href="http://www.newsday.com/news/health/gap-in-health-care-law-s-protection-for-children-1.1828037" target="_hplink">ABC News</a>.
Your Child's Policy Will Not Exclude Coverage For Any Illness
Insurance companies won't be permitted to write child health care policies that exclude coverage for certain illnesses by 2014, according to <a href="http://www.newsday.com/news/health/gap-in-health-care-law-s-protection-for-children-1.1828037" target="_hplink">ABC News</a>.
Some Will Be Taxed For Not Buying Health Insurance
Americans who do not purchase health insurance and are financially able to do so will be subject to a $695 penalty starting in 2014, according to <a href="http://www.boston.com/business/personalfinance/managingyourmoney/archives/2010/03/tax_implication.html" target="_hplink">Boston.com</a>.
Your Insurance Plan Will Offer More Free Preventative Care
All new health insurance plans since 2010 have been required to include free preventative care, according to <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/26/health/health-reform-fun-facts/index.html" target="_hplink">CNN</a>. This includes mammograms, vaccinations, colonoscopies, physical examinations and other forms of care. All plans need to provide these free services by 2018.
Seniors Will Pay Less For Prescriptions
Before some provisions of the health care law went into effect, seniors were required to pay the full cost of prescription medications once they reached a limit on prescription drug spending, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/26/health-care-reform-medicare-prescription-drugs_n_1625629.html" target="_hplink">The Huffington Post</a> reports. Obamacare is on track to close the gap by 2020, according to <a href="http://www.cms.gov/apps/media/press/release.asp?Counter=4388&intNumPerPage=10&checkDate=&checkKey=&srchType=1&numDays=3500&srchOpt=0&srchData=&keywordType=All&chkNewsType=1%2C+2%2C+3%2C+4%2C+5&intPage=&showAll=&pYear=&year=&desc=&cboOrder=date" target="_hplink">the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services</a>.
Insurance Policies Will Not Cap Your Coverage
Because of health care reform, health insurance companies will no longer be able to impose annual caps on coverage by 2014, <a href="http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/health/health_stew/2012/03/acas_ban_on_lifetime_caps_prot.html" target="_hplink">Boston.com reports.</a>
Insurance Companies Can't Drop You When You Get Sick
As a result of health care reform, health insurance companies will not be allowed to end your coverage once you are sick, the <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-07-06/health/ct-biz-0706-rescissions-health-reform20100706_1_small-group-coverage-illinois-insurance-department-rescission" target="_hplink"><em>Chicago Tribune</em> reports</a>.
You Can Remain On Your Parents' Plan Until Age 26
As a result of health care reform, children can remain on their parents' insurance plan <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/28/health-care-reform-young-adults_n_1385083.html" target="_hplink">until they reach the age of 26.</a>