Health Care Reform and You

Updated:Dec 17,2015

On March 23rd, 2010, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, making health care coverage more available, affordable, and adequate for patients with heart disease and stroke.

As the provisions of the new law are implemented, over the next weeks, months, and years, it is critical for heart disease and stroke patients, and their families, to understand what options and protections are available to them under the new law.

To understand what the health care law means to heart disease and stroke patients, learn about:

The health reform law prohibits insurance companies from refusing coverage because of someone’s medical history or health risk. Insurers are now required to renew a policy as long as the policy holder pays their premium in full – and are prohibited from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for those who become ill.

Those who lose a job, switch jobs, or start a small business have the peace of mind of knowing that they can purchase affordable private health insurance coverage through new Health Insurance Marketplaces that opened in every state on October 1, 2013. The Marketplaces provide a single location where individuals, families, and small businesses who need coverage can more easily shop for and compare plans and apply for coverage. Learn more about the Marketplaces or find your state’s Marketplace at Heart disease and stroke survivors – and those at risk for developing cardiovascular disease – need access to affordable coverage in order to get the medical care and medications that will allow them to remain productive and contributing members of society.

Specific cardiovascular disease patient populations who may have struggled to access and afford the quality care that they need, will now have more options available to them.

Learn what health care reform means for:

Coverage for all individuals – regardless of health status – is available through the Health Insurance Marketplaces that will provide consumers with the benefit of group insurance rates. The uninsured will be able to obtain insurance through the Marketplace in their state, providing security for those who may at some point lose their employer-sponsored coverage or decide to start their own business. Tax credits will be available to those with moderate incomes to make the coverage they buy affordable. Unlike some policies offered today, the insurance available through the Marketplaces will cover all essential services and cap out-of-pocket costs.

Consumers will be given easily understandable information about their health insurance benefits so that they know what they are getting. Smokers may pay more for their insurance policies, but the plans will be required to make smoking cessation services available for no extra charge. Middle-aged people may also be charged higher premiums due to their age, but those premiums will be capped and those with moderate incomes will receive tax breaks to help ensure the coverage is still affordable.

To learn more about any of the provisions mentioned here, visit