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Ways to better understand health care reform

Molly Cerreta Smith loves writing about all things mommy, parenting, food, health and travel. When she's not staring into the face of her Mac, she loves to hike, read, do messy crafts with her kids and compete in BBQ competitions with he...

Health care reform cheat sheet

You may feel overwhelmed by the amount of information to learn about the Affordable Care Act. The truth is, there are a lot of changes taking place within the plan's timeline. The good news is we have tips to help you better understand how it affects you!

Healthy family sitting in living room smiling

Health care reform cheat sheet

You may feel overwhelmed by the amount of information to learn about the Affordable Care Act. The truth is, there are a lot of changes taking place within the plan's timeline. The good news is we have tips to help you better understand how it affects you!

Changes underway

Since the ACA was signed off on in 2010, some changes have already taken place. One to note for those with children (even grown ones) is that children up to age 26 can remain on a parent's health insurance plan. Another change already in place is that children with pre-existing health conditions, such as asthma or diabetes, are guaranteed coverage — even if they were previously denied. Insurers are now required to provide coverage for preventive care such as immunizations and wellness checkups for women, babies and children.

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Changes to come

As of this year, another major change in the ACA timeline is emerging. This portion of the act, called the Individual Mandate, requires that most every U.S. citizen have health insurance. Exemptions do exist for those with financial hardships. Those without an exemption may be subject to a penalty tax for not obtaining the required insurance. This tax will continue to increase into 2016 and beyond. To help everyone obtain insurance, Health Insurance Marketplaces are being set up in every state to ensure people are able to find affordable insurance plans.

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Don't get overwhelmed

Yes, there is a lot of information under the reform act to absorb. However, don't get inundated by it. Remember that not every bit of information under the act will apply to you and your family. Sometimes it helps to go over the information, then set it aside and take a break from it for a little while. Return to it when you feel you have a clear head and are ready to tackle more information.

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Break it down

Take the pieces of information that apply to you and your family and break it down into small pieces so you can digest it, understand it and take the proper action needed to ensure you are within the new law's parameters.

Seek counsel of experts

If you're still having trouble taking in all of the new information and changes under the reform act, seek the help of health care experts. HealthCare.gov offers information on its website that pertains to how the ACA affects young independents, families, baby boomers and those in need of Medicare. The site offers user-friendly information and can point you in the direction of local help.

To better understand all of the healthcare plans available in your area, check out Humana to discover what plans work best for you and your family.

More on health care information

What you need to know about the Affordable Care Act
10 Ways Obamacare might affect you and your family
Health care reform and young adults

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