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What does the Affordable Care Act mean for the general public?

The 2010 health care law protects the general public in three specific ways. It:
  • Stops unfair insurance practices: Health insurance companies can no longer drop your health coverage if you become sick. Your health insurance is guaranteed, as long as you continue to pay your premiums. Children under age 19 can’t be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition. Starting in 2014, adults also can’t be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition.
  • Stops lifetime and annual limits on coverage: Insurance companies can no longer place lifetime or annual dollar limits on your health coverage -- giving you peace of mind that your benefits won’t run out when you need them the most. The ban on lifetime limits began in 2010, while the ban on annual limits begins in 2014.
  • Requires coverage for preventive care: Most health insurance plans, including Medicare, now must cover proven preventive care such as immunizations and screenings for diabetes and certain cancers. This includes mammograms and colonoscopies. These preventive services are at no out-of-pocket cost to you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.