September 05, 2001
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Not up to sifting through the 2,000-page health-care bill? (We didn't think so!) Here's what you can expect and when. (For more info, go to HealthReform.gov.)

Now:
Can't get insurance because of a pre-existing health condition? You may qualify for a new, affordable federal plan.

  • As of September:
  • Your insurance company can no longer drop you from your health-care plan if you get sick.
  • Insurance carriers must cover preventive screenings, such as breast exams, mammograms, and Pap smears.
  • A child cannot be denied health coverage because of a pre-existing condition.
  • By 2014:
  • It will be illegal for insurers to charge women higher premiums simply for being female.
  • Insurance companies will no longer be able to deny you coverage for pre-existing conditions-including a previous C-section or injuries caused by domestic abuse.
  • All insurance carriers will be required to cover maternity care.
  • New moms can rest easier because providers will be required to cover newborn care and pediatric services, as well as screening for postpartum depression.