10 Things You Should Know About Obamacare

The more you know! With the election behind us and Obamacare firmly in place, many Americans are still struggling to understand how the new law will actually impact them. Here are the top ten things you need to know.

1. If you’re under 26, you’re covered

PhotoAlto PhotoAlto / Eric Audras / Getty Images

Recent college grad? Still looking for a job? Don’t worry – Obamacare’s got you covered. If you’re under the age of 26 and don’t have job-based insurance, you can stay on your parents’ health plan – even if you’re married. That’s great news for the more than 3 million young people who have already benefited from this provision - and for the many more who are eligible.

2. Your insurer now has to spend your premiums on YOU

Under Obamacare, insurance providers have to spend at least 80 percent of your premium dollars on your health care. This year, more than 12 million Americans got rebate checks totaling $1.1 billion because their insurance companies weren’t putting their health first.

3. Know What You’re Really Putting In Your Mouth

Flickr RF Sally Anscombe / Getty Images / Via wordpress.com

We all have that moment of weakness. No time to cook? Late night at the office? Those golden arches are just down the road. Hey, nobody’s perfect – but at least now you’ll know what’s really going in your body. Under the new law, restaurants with 20+ locations have to provide nutritional info, like total calories and fat content, on menu items.

4. No More Insurance Cut Offs for the Chronically Ill

You shouldn’t have to choose between your health and your rent check. Obamacare bans insurers from imposing a cap on care – freeing cancer patients and the chronically ill from having to go without treatment because of lifetime limits.

5. Putting the “Health” Back Into Healthcare

Image Source Zave Smith / Getty Images

Most people think of health insurance as something you don’t need until you get sick. But your coverage can also help you stay healthy. Those with new insurance plans under Obamacare are eligible for free preventive services – from basic checkups and vaccinations to life-saving cancer screenings.

6. Grandpa won’t pay more just for being a grandpa

Starting in 2014, insurance companies will no longer be able to charge more for coverage based on a policy holder’s gender or medical condition. They also won’t be able to deny you coverage due to a technical error, like making a mistake in your application.

7. Closing the Gender Gap

Jamie Grill / Getty Images

Women are more likely to need preventive health care services, but often have less ability to pay. Under Obamacare, women’s preventive services are free – including breastfeeding equipment, contraception, domestic violence screenings, mammograms, and cervical cancer screenings.

8. Connecting You to the Coverage You Need

Vetta londoneye / Getty Images

Still looking for health insurance? State and federal insurance exchanges will help you find the right plan for you. And thanks to the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, no one has to worry about being denied coverage or care because they’re already ill.

9. Helping Small Businesses

Vetta Laura Flugga / Getty Images

Small businesses employing less than 50 people don’t have to provide health insurance, and those that do are now eligible for a tax break to keep their workers covered.

10. Creating Healthier Communities

Obamacare is helping local communities implement programs to combat obesity and chronic diseases, support tobacco cessation, and educate people about active living and healthy eating. These programs will not only reduce health care costs down the road, they help us live longer – and better – lives.

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!