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How will health care reform affect me?

How Will Health Care Reform Affect Me?The health care reform laws that congress has moved forward are broad enough to change the way millions of people get health insurance, and require nearly everyone to have health insurance or face penalties. Lots of information – including age, household income, the number in your family,  and location – will affect how your life will be impacted.

The information below will shed some light on how these changes could affect you, your family, or your business. The Washington Post has developed a useful tool that estimates what it could mean for your health coverage and taxes based on your income, family size and current insurance status. Try it here.

For those who are currently insured:

If you purchased your plan on your own: You can keep your current plan or you can buy coverage through new state-run insurance markets starting in 2014. Existing plans don’t have to meet higher benefit standards of new policies, but will face tighter regulations. More…

If you are insured through your employer: You can keep your plan or you can buy coverage through new state-run insurance markets starting in 2014. Families making more than $250,000 will pay higher taxes. Some tax breaks for medical costs will also be reduced. More…

If you are insured by Medicare: You will pay less for preventive care and prescription drugs. If you receive benefits through a private Medicare Advantage plan, you could pay more or receive reduced benefits. More…

If you are insured by Medicaid: You and your children can stay on the program. states will be required to maintain current eligibility levels for adults until 2014 and for children until 2019. More…

For those who are uninsured:

High-risk Pool: You will be eligible for subsidized coverage through a new high-risk insurance program if you cannot get private insurance due to a pre-existing medical condion. More…

Medicaid: You will qualify for Medicaid if your household income is below 133 percent of the poverty level – or about $29,327 in 2009 for a family of four. More…

New Exchanges: You can buy private insurance – federally subsidized for lower-incomes – through new state-run insurance marketplaces starting in 2014. All plans in the exchanges will offer a minimum set of benefits. More…

Penalties: You will pay penalties if you are required to buy coverage but do not. Most Americans will be required to buy insurance. American Indians, those with religious objections and low-income people may be exempt. More…