- Insurance companies can no longer stop paying benefits in the middle of the year — or stop paying altogether because your loved-one or neighbor has reached their insurance cap (I believe this alone is sufficient to put a dent in the number of medical bankruptcies in the US).
- Insurance companies can no longer simply cancel a policy if your loved-one or neighbor gets sick.
- Insurance companies must cover the cost of preventive services such as mammograms at no additional charge.
- Insurance companies must justify rate increases and rebate excessive overhead charges directly to policyholders.
- Starting immediately, insurance companies may not deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. Starting in 2014, insurers may no longer discriminate against adults with pre-existing conditions.
- Starting in 2014, insurance companies may no longer charge women more than men for coverage (put that feature along with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and you can see the vicious cycle some have attempted to protect at the expense of working families — namely, the right to pay a woman 22% less when she does the same work at the same level of performance as a man, AND the right to charge that woman a premium for health coverage because she is a woman)
- Starting in 2014, state-based marketplaces will enable us to compare coverage on an apples-to-apples basis when we make our choice of insurers.
- Health Insurance tax credits for working Americans beginning in 2014.
- The construction or improvement of hundreds of health centers in underserved communities.
- Tax credits to help small businesses offer affordable health care plans to employees.
- Increased penalties for Medicare fraud.
- Lower costs for older Americans on Medicare.
- Personal responsibility for seeing that none of us unnecessarily burdens our neighbors and our nation by losing or failing to maintain adequate health coverage.
For more about all this, including straightforward information about health coverage in your state, visit HealthCare.gov.
If you care for such things, Chief Justice Roberts' opinion for the majority turns out to be a really fascinating read. Things start getting really interesting around page 31. Find the Roberts opinion here.