The Supreme Court ruling on President Obama's health care law is complicated, just like the law itself. Today the court said the law is mostly constitutional. Here is what it means for you:
Read the Supreme Court decision HERE
- You have to buy health insurance or be subject to a tax
This is what is called the "mandate." The idea behind the health law is that if people can afford insurance don't pay for it, that's not fair because then other people have to pay higher premiums. With a mandate, everyone has to buy it, so premiums are lower. But if you don't buy it, now the government can tax you.
- If you are under 26, you can get health insurance from the plan your parents use.
This is one of the more popular provisions in the health law. Even some of the law's most ardent opponents say they like it, because it helps young people have a health insurance plan in the early years of their adult life.
- If you're on Medicare, you can get free mammograms.
This is part of the law that provides free preventive care. The government says that already, millions of people have taken advantage of this. It's also a big selling point among women.
- If you have what's called a pre-existing condition, you can get health insurance.
This is another popular part of the law, barring insurance companies from telling people with those conditions that they can't be insured. People who wanted health care reform often cited the plight of families who have to deal with insurance companies who deny coverage to a person because of a pre-existing condition that would presumably cost too much money to cover.
- Insurance companies can't deny you coverage even if you get sick and make a mistake on your health insurance application.
Though seemingly a bureaucratic detail, this change helps people who err on the often complicated health forms that are required to have insurance. And it also forces insurers to cover people who get sick unexpectedly.