- guarantees that everyone can buy coverage, regardless of their health; and their coverage cannot be restricted to preclude coverage for pre-existing conditions.
- will provide government subsidies for people who cannot afford the cost of health insurance premiums
- bolsters the Medicare program to cover more of the poor and unemployed
- demands that individuals buy coverage or face penalties that will rise over time
- creates new taxes and levies on industry to pay the cost
But with this (and any other law), the devil is in the details. This complex legislation spans more than 1,000 pages of text, much of which alters other laws that must be read to understand the impact of the changes. Insurers are also scrambling to determine how new policies that will be required under the law can be effectively priced and underwritten. The law also will go into effect in stages, spreading out the impact over time.
How will it affect you? Instead of speculating, I'll make you a deal: Ask specific questions here in our comment section, giving details about your situation and the type of insurance you have now. I will do my best over the coming weeks to interview experts in both health and tax policy to get accurate answers.
Questions that can be answered in a few paragraphs will be handled here in the comments section. Those that require more complex, nuanced answers will be handled in separate blog posts.
What do you want to know? Fire away.