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Home > Health Care Reform

Health Care Reform

Health Care Refore PictureOn March 23, 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act became law. This law is sometimes called Obamacare or the ACA. It provides many new patient rights. It also offers new ways to get health insurance.



New rights

  • In most health plans, many vaccines, cancer screenings, and other preventive care services are now free, with no co-pay, co-insurance, or deductible. 
  • Most plans cannot charge you more or refuse to cover you because of a health problem or if you are pregnant.  You have this protection if you apply for a new plan during an open enrollment period.
  • Young adults who cannot get insurance through their employer can stay on their parent’s or guardian’s plan until age 26. 
  • Most plans cannot put a yearly or a lifetime limit on how much care they will pay for if you get sick. 
  • Plans cannot cancel your coverage just because you get sick or make an unintentional mistake on your application.
  • Look at a Fact Sheet on new rights.

New marketplace to get health insurance

Covered California is a new health plan marketplace where you can apply for health plans.

  • Covered California makes it easier to compare plans and find one you can afford. You can preview plans, estimate the cost of your plan premium, and apply for a plan through
  • You may qualify for tax credits to help pay monthly plan premiums.
  • Open enrollment is from October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014.

View information about other programs and ways to get care on OPA’s page on finding health care.


View OPA’s new series of videos on health care change in California:

Preventive Care Services (English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, and sign language)

Consumer Assistance (English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, and sign language)

Your Right to an Interpreter (English, Spanish with Spanish captions, Spanish with English Captions, Cantonese, Mandarin, and sign language)

Health Care Reform in California (English only)

Your Rights Under Health Care Reform (English only)

View OPA’s new series of Fact Sheets on health care change in California: 



Federal Health Reform Rights and Protections

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