Harvard Women's Health Watch

What the Affordable Care Act means for you

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Here's how to make sense of your new benefits under the ACA.

The major provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were scheduled to start January 1. By that date, all Americans are required to carry health insurance. Coverage is available to those who don't have it through the Health Insurance Marketplace. (As we went to press, the Marketplace website was experiencing some technical issues, but the government was working to repair them, and said the site should be fixed by the time you read this.) If you're still confused about the ACA and its terms, here's an overview.

The good news if you're 65 or over is that your health insurance plan won't change dramatically in the wake of the ACA. "The new health insurance exchanges do not affect Medicare at all. Individuals who are already on Medicare won't need to do anything," says Dr. Nancy Keating, an associate professor of medicine and health care policy at Harvard Medical School. "The health insurance exchanges are only relevant for women who are not already covered by Medicare or employer-sponsored insurance."

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