When Barack Obama was running for president, he promised change for this country. Among those changes were large reforms to health care. So, now that he's been elected, what does that mean for you?

The answer depends on many factors, including whether you currently have insurance, whether you have children, whether you're covered by a government plan like Medicare or Medicaid, and if you've been diagnosed with an illness like cancer.

While it's impossible to predict exactly what will happen, given other important national issues like the economy and the war in Iraq, the following is an explanation of likely outcomes, based on what Obama had discussed as a presidential candidate. Here's what you can expect.

Coverage for Kids

Although Obama's plan does not require that all people get health insurance, he says he will make sure that all children are covered. When children are born, their parents will be required to enroll them in an insurance plan or sign up for a program like Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program (which are government programs designed to help cover lower income families). One way that this requirement may be enforced is by requiring children to show proof of insurance when they enroll in school, according to a paper published by policy research group American Enterprise Institute.

Affordable Insurance for Everyone

Health insurance will not be required for all adults under Obama's plan, but he does propose a way to make it easier to get and cheaper for anyone who wants it. In his campaign materials, he promised that anyone who already has an insurance plan they like will be able to keep it. However, he has also suggested creating a national insurance program and a national pool of private insurance plans, where people who are not insured can choose one. He also plans to expand Medicaid to cover more people.

Employer Insurance Requirements

Obama's plan also calls for all businesses to offer health insurance to their workers. The companies that don't provide insurance will be forced to pay an additional tax, which will go toward paying for the national insurance and insurance pool, according to a study by the Lewin Group, a health care policy research group. He also proposes to provide help to small business owners who may not be able to afford to provide health care or pay the tax.

No Loss of Coverage Due to Illness

Often people who have been diagnosed with a serious illness like cancer have a hard time finding a new insurance plan if they don't already have one or lose their current plan as they become sicker. Obama has said that insurance plans will not be allowed to drop people because they have been diagnosed with a disease. According to the Lewin Group's analysis, Obama's plan will cover more than half of all people who currently have chronic conditions (which are ongoing diseases, like diabetes) and don't have insurance.

Smarter Spending

One of the biggest questions is how Obama plans to pay for all his health promises. He has said that part of the money will come from tax increases to those who make more than $250,000 a year. The Lewin Group shows that Obama's plan can include billions in savings from improvements to the health system by eliminating a type of Medicare plan that costs the government the most, by negotiating lower drug prices paid by the government, and by adding new technology that will make medical care more efficient.