Affordable Care Act For Dummies Cheat Sheet - dummies
Cheat Sheet

Affordable Care Act For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From Affordable Care Act For Dummies, Portable Edition

By Lisa Yagoda, Nicole Duritz, Joan Friedman

The Affordable Care Act promotes a focus on wellness and preventive care, provides many key consumer protections, and offers an easy way to shop for insurance.

Copyright © 2014 AARP. All rights reserved.

Preventive Health Services for Adults and the Affordable Care Act

Copyright © 2014 AARP. All rights reserved.

Most health plans must cover a set of preventive services like shots and screening tests at no cost to you. This includes Marketplace private insurance plans.

Free preventive services

All Marketplace plans and many other plans must cover the following list of preventive services without charging you a copayment or coinsurance. This is true even if you haven’t met your yearly deductible. This applies only when these services are delivered by a network provider.

  1. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm one-time screening for men of specified ages who have ever smoked

  2. Alcohol misuse screening and counseling

  3. Aspirin use to prevent cardiovascular disease for men and women of certain ages

  4. Blood Pressure screening for all adults

  5. Cholesterol screening for adults of certain ages or at higher risk

  6. Colorectal Cancer screening for adults over 50

  7. Depression screening for adults

  8. Diabetes (Type 2) screening for adults with high blood pressure

  9. Diet counseling for adults at higher risk for chronic disease

  10. HIV screening for everyone ages 15 to 65, and other ages at increased risk

  11. Immunization vaccines for adults–doses, recommended ages, and recommended populations vary:

    • Hepatitis A

    • Hepatitis B

    • Herpes Zoster

    • Human Papillomavirus

    • Influenza (Flu Shot)

    • Measles, Mumps, Rubella

    • Meningococcal

    • Pneumococcal

    • Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis

    • Varicella

  12. Obesity screening and counseling for all adults

  13. Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) prevention counseling for adults at higher risk

  14. Syphilis screening for all adults at higher risk

  15. Tobacco Use screening for all adults and cessation interventions for tobacco users

For more information on preventive services, check out

Rights and Protections under the Affordable Care Act

Copyright © 2014 AARP. All rights reserved.

Whether you need health coverage or have it already, the health care law offers new rights and protections that make coverage fairer and easier to understand.

Some rights and protections apply to plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace or other individual insurance, some apply to job-based plans, and some apply to all health coverage.

Use this guide to learn about your rights and protections today; go to

How the healthcare law protects you

  • Creates the Health Insurance Marketplace, a new way for individuals, families, and small businesses to get health coverage

  • Requires insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing health conditions

  • Helps you understand the coverage you’re getting

  • Holds insurance companies accountable for rate increases

  • Makes it illegal for health insurance companies to arbitrarily cancel your health insurance just because you get sick

  • Protects your choice of doctors

  • Covers young adults under 26

  • Provides free preventive care

  • Ends lifetime and yearly dollar limits on coverage of essential health benefits

  • In addition to the rights and benefits included in this guide, here are some others:

    • Breastfeeding equipment and support

    • Birth control methods and counseling

    • Mental health and substance abuse services

    • Appealing a health plan decision

Questions? Call 1-800-318-2596, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (TTY: 1-855-889-4325)

Affordable Health Care Act Provides New Way to Shop for Health Insurance

Copyright © 2014 AARP. All rights reserved.

Every state has a Health Insurance Marketplace where people looking for coverage can go online to shop for health insurance. The Health Insurance Marketplace makes it easier to shop for health plans in your state. For further information, go to AARP Health Law Facts.

Here’s how the marketplace works:

  • All health plans are listed in one place, so you can make apples-to-apples comparisons of the benefits and prices.

  • Insurance companies are required to describe what’s included in simple language, so there’s no guesswork about what’s covered.

  • All plans offered in the marketplace are required to cover essential benefits, like doctor visits, hospital care, emergency care, prescriptions, preventive care and more.

Use our Health Law Answers tool to learn more about how to find coverage options for you and your family.

Financial help is available

For the first time, there’s help available to pay for health coverage. In fact, many people who buy their plan on the marketplace can get help covering the costs. Low-cost or free plans are also available depending on your income.

Need help finding a plan?

If you need assistance finding a plan or completing the application, help is available every step of the way. You can get your questions answered online, by phone, or in person.

Are you a small-business owner?

Check out the AARP small-business page to learn how you’ll use the marketplace to offer coverage to your employees.