Key Features of the Health Care Law

You have access to health coverage, even if you have a pre-existing condition. Premium tax credits and other financial assistance can also help you pay for health insurance if you are eligible. More key features of the health care law:

The Health Insurance Marketplace offers an easier way to shop and enroll in a health plan. You are able to compare plan prices and benefits from a number of health insurance companies offering coverage on the Marketplace. You can apply for coverage online, over the phone or with a paper application. Open enrollment is November 1, 2017, through January 31, 2018, for coverage in 2018.

Preventive services have no out-of-pocket costs. Most preventive care is fully paid by your premium — e.g., certain screenings to check for conditions such as diabetes or mammograms for early cancer detection. So long as you visit a doctor in your health plan’s provider network, you won’t have to pay a copay, co-insurance or deductible for annual wellness exams or immunizations.

Essential health benefits are included in most health insurance plans. Most insurance plans — whether they are purchased on the Health Insurance Marketplace or directly from an insurance company —now include a standard package of health care benefits that cover:

  • Emergency services
  • Prescription drugs
  • Hospitalization
  • Maternity and newborn care
  • Laboratory services
  • Mental health/substance abuse counseling
  • Preventive/wellness services and chronic disease management
  • Services for your children, including oral and vision care

You can keep your adult children on your health insurance plan up to the age of 26. Under the Affordable Care Act, most limits to keeping your adult children on your coverage were removed. This applies whether or not your son or daughter is a full-time student, lives with you, is disabled or is a tax dependent.

You choose your doctor. You choose your primary care doctor or pediatrician from any in your health plan’s provider network. And, you can see an OB/GYN and pediatrician without another doctor’s referral.

Emergency access is guaranteed. You can seek emergency care at nearly any hospital without prior approval from your health plan.

Health coverage is easier to understand. When you enroll in insurance, you’ll get a summary of benefits and coverage offered under the plan, with descriptions and examples of your health insurance benefits. These descriptions and examples will make it easier to be a smart shopper and choose the plan that’s the best fit for you.