This year we’ll see a lot of changes in the healthcare system due to the Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court finally made a decision regarding the constitutionality of the law and decided that the healthcare reform law should stay. Here are some of the changes that will affect individuals and employers alike. In 2010, all health insurance companies were required to cover preventive care services with no out-of-pocket costs. Deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance do not apply as long as in-network providers are used. Last August, new health insurance plans were required to provide coverage for a variety of basic women’s health services. This includes maternity and well-baby care, HPV testing, counseling for STD and HIV, and screening and counseling for domestic violence. The controversial contraceptive mandate also began the same month. Under this mandate, women will be able to receive FDA approved birth control methods without out-of-pocket costs. However, religious institutions such as churches are exempted from this requirement. Catholic schools, hospitals and other employers not affiliated with religious institutions are not exempted from this mandate but are given a one year extension to comply with the requirement. Rebates are also due to be given out to consumers from health insurance companies who have not met the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) requirements. The insurance companies are forced to give the extra funds not spent on healthcare back to their consumers. By the start of open enrollment in September, health insurance policies are required to provide concise and consistent plan information that would help consumers compare plans easily. By 2014, almost all Americans should have a health insurance plan under the health care reform law. Non-compliance would result in tax penalties. Employers are also required to provide health care benefits to their employees or else pay a penalty. If you need help getting a health insurance plan, you can give us a call. We can provide you with personalized advice from one of our advisors at no cost.