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Navigating the Health Care Law


Confused about what the new health care law means for you?  Call it the Affordable Care Act, call it Obamacare, call it what you will, there is no doubt that there are a LOT of questions out there about the health care law and how it will impact you and your family.  Whether you love the new law or hate it, AARP is here to provide you with the information you need to help unravel the mystery behind the new law and answer the question, “What does this mean for me?”

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Here are the basics:

New Consumer Protections - Consumer protections are now in place so you can be confident your health care coverage will be there for you when you need it.  Insurance companies can no longer deny you coverage based on pre-existing conditions such as asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, or even cancer.  And they can’t cancel your coverage if you get sick or hit a certain dollar limit.

More Preventative Care - Diabetes and cholesterol screenings, prostate exams, mammograms and even flu shots are now covered, so you can catch a little problem before it turns into a big problem.

Additional Coverage for Kids - Your kids can now stay on your health care coverage plan until age 26.  It doesn’t matter whether they are in school, live with you, or even if they’re married.

Coverage for the Uninsured - Don’t have insurance?  Starting in October 2013, Minnesotans will be able to shop for a health insurance plan in a new state marketplace called MNsure. All plans offered in the Marketplace must cover basic health services like doctor visits, prescription drugs, hospital stays and pregnancy and there is financial help available for individuals who need help covering the cost.

Medicare Benefits - Got Medicare?  Wellness visits and more preventative care are now covered at no cost to you.  This includes immunizations, diabetes and cholesterol screenings, diet counseling and more.  You will also get a discount on your Part D prescription drug costs if you fall into the “doughnut hole”.  In a few years, there will be no more “doughnut hole”.

Help for Small Business Owners – Small businesses can also select plans through MNsure and get tax credits to help make the cost of covering employees more affordable.

AARP also offers two online tools that will help you navigate the health care law even further.

  • HealthLawAnswers.org – an interactive site that will provide you with personalized information about how the health care law works for you and your family.
  • HealthLawResources.org – a site where you can download educational materials from AARP (for FREE!) to share with your friends, family, neighbors and community.
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