This discussion paper from members of the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Health Literacy describes some of the important concepts that health care consumers will need to understand about changes and options in health insurance being implemented beginning in January 2014 through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  The discussion provides definitions of  common health care insurance terminology, explains the individual mandate to purchase health care insurance, and describes both public insurance programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the new health insurance marketplaces.  The paper highlights the four questions that health care consumers should be asking about their health insurance:

  • What are my choices for health insurance?
  • How do I get it?
  • How do I use it?
  • How much will it cost me?

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