The following are the top 5 things you should know about the new health care laws:

1. Starting as early as September 2010, insurance companies won't be able to drop you when you get sick just because you made a mistake on your coverage application.

2. Starting as early as September 2010, if you have children under age 26, you can insure them if your policy allows for dependent coverage. The only exception is if you have an existing job-based plan, and your children can get their own  job-based coverage. Many plans have made a business decision to provide this coverage earlier, so your child could be insured before September 2010.

3. Starting as early as September 2010, job-based health plans and new individual plans won't be allowed to deny or exclude coverage to any child under age 19 based on health conditions, including babies born with health problems.

4. Starting in 2014, if your income is less than the equivalent of about $88,000 for a family of four today and your job doesn't offer affordable coverage, you may get tax credits to help pay for insurance.

5. Starting in 2014, if your employer doesn't offer insurance, you will be able to buy insurance directly in an Exchange that gives you power similar to what large businesses and members of Congress have to get better choices. It is very important to shop around for a possible better price.


An exchange is a new transparent and competitive insurance marketplace where individuals and small businesses can buy affordable and qualified health benefit plans. Exchanges will offer you a choice of health plans that meets certain benefits and cost standards. Starting in 2014, Members of Congress will be getting their health care insurance through Exchanges, and you will be able to buy your insurance through Exchanges, too.