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Have questions about healthcare reform?The Affordable Care Act changed the way Americans get health insurance. Opponents are quick to point out all of the flaws with new healthcare plan, but slow to mention the many ways it has made healthcare more accessible to those who could never afford to buy health insurance. Following are 10 reasons to like the Affordable Care Act.

1. You have more choices. You can choose a bronze, silver, gold or platinum plan. Among other things, you can choose between insurance companies, maximum out-of-pocket costs and the size of your deductible.

2. Individuals get subsidies to help pay their premiums if they meet certain income guidelines. Individuals and families whose income does not exceed 400 percent of the federal poverty level, are eligible for assistance in paying their premiums. Subsidies make it possible for low-income households to get needed healthcare at the same facilities as individuals in higher-income brackets.

3. Small businesses get tax credits to help pay for coverage for their employees. Small businesses can receive tax credits of up to 50 percent of the health insurance premium they pay to insure their employees’ health. 

4. Children can stay on their parents plan until age 26. Premiums may be lower and coverage may be better if you are able to stay on your parents’ insurance plan. As long as you are no older than 26, you can be married, not living at home or away at college, and still be allowed to stay on your parents’ health insurance policy.

5. You can't be denied for pre-existing conditions. Unlike in the past, you cannot be denied coverage because of a preexisting condition. 

6. No annual or lifetime limits on healthcare. There are no caps on the amount of coverage you can receive. 

7. Employers must offer coverage to employees. Your employer must provide health insurance or face heavy fines and penalties.

8. You can't be dropped if you get sick. If you are diagnosed with a serious illness, you cannot be dropped from the plan or denied coverage when it comes time to renew your plan.

9. You can't be charged more based on health status or gender. A person in poor health cannot be charged more for the same coverage as a person in good health.

10. Freedom to change insurance providers or plans. You are not penalized for changing insurance providers or plans when it comes time to enroll for the next year.

Are you covered? Call The Insurance Station at (800) 845-0489 for more information on Des Moines health insurance.

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