What's going on with health-care reform? What does it really do for you and your family? If you're confused and want to know the facts, you're certainly not alone.
That's where Consumers Reports comes in. Since our founding 75 years ago, we've focused on providing consumers with easy-to-understand comparative information so that they can make the best decisions in the marketplace.
We know firsthand that the health-care marketplace is one where consumers have deep concerns. We've been especially motivated on the issue by the personal stories we've heard and surveys we've conducted involving real people with real problems. They want access to safe and affordable health care for themselves and their families. Indeed, six out of 10 Americans we surveyed in April 2009 said they were concerned about going bankrupt because of an illness or accident. And in fact, catastrophic medical bills are still among the main causes of bankruptcy in the U.S.
The new health-care law, the Affordable Care Act, includes several key consumer benefits that can help alleviate some of these problems. But you need to know about the benefits and when they become active to actually take advantage of them.
Because our current health-care system is so complex, making big changes takes time. So the new law is being phased in, starting with its signing back in March 2010, and continuing through 2014, when all the pieces are scheduled to be in place.
We've created a consumer guide you can download to help you understand your options. Copies are available in Spanish. We've also included a health-insurance buying guide where you can get additional reliable information, including rankings of health-insurance plans
We welcome your feedback, your partnership, and your collaboration as we work together to address the concerns and advance the interests of America's health-care consumers.