YOU ASK:

Will I be forced to change plans under the new health care reform law?

WE ANSWER:

As long as you like your plan, you can stay with it.

For those who have employer-sponsored health care coverage that are settled through a collective bargaining agreement, very little will change. This is especially true if the plan you have is grandfathered, meaning it gets to keep most if not all of its provisions and benefits.

By grandfathered plans, we refer to plans that have been issued before the implementation of the health care reform law. These plans are allowed to maintain what it has to offer and to delay the implementation of the new bill's regulations as long as they also don't change the plan offering they have.

If you are covered through an individual health insurance plan, you will be allowed to keep your plan. If anything, the changes you will find will be for the better. The new plans that will be offered in the market would be more comprehensive, with improved benefits. But still, you are free to maintain the plan that you have or you also have the option to go to a newer plan.

The good news is that the new health care reform law will ensure that you are duly protected from abuses and arbitrary decisions made by the insurance companies. Also, the bill will help ensure that you understand your plan fully and that the process in availing of medical services and claiming are simplified.

The health care reform law just aims to give you more choices so that you are able to get the plan that will best suit your needs. You will have access to strengthened insurance plans, with a more comprehensive coverage since the bill will require minimum standards for all health insurance products that will be sold.

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