1. You can't be denied coverage if you have a pre-existing condition

 Already in effect, this part of the law protects people who suffer from an illness     or disability. People who apply for health insurance coverage can't be denied for t   these reasons. Insurance companies also can't deny coverage to children who       have pre-existing conditions.

  2. Parents can continue to pay for their children's insurance

  Also already in effect, this portion of the law allows young adults to stay on their    parent's insurance plans until age 26.


3. Depending on which state you live in, you may be eligible for Medicaid

The court's ruling announced today means that states can choose whether they will participate in the expansion of Medicaid. It's likely that a number of states will go along with the law's provision to provide coverage to people with incomes less than 133 percent of the federal poverty level.


4. No annual or lifetime dollar limits

Under the law, lifetime and annual dollar limits for all insurance policies will be phased out by 2014. In other words, insurance companies can't place dollar limits on the coverage people receive each year or over a lifetime.


5. Insurance premiums must remain affordable

With the individual mandate in place, people can receive health care coverage regardless of whether they are sick or healthy. But the law requires that insurance companies keep monthly premiums within an affordable range for everyone.


6. For people without insurance coverage, there's help

In January 2014, Americans will be required to buy health insurance.


7.   If you don't buy health insurance, there's a penalty

If you decide to not buy coverage, the penalty could start at $95 a year, or up to 1 percent of your income, and continue to increase to 2.5 percent by 2016, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

But people who still can't afford a monthly premium because of their income, suffer from financial hardship, or have religious objections to the law will not have to purchase a plan, nor will they be required to pay the tax penalty for not doing so.

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