What do you know about healthcare reform? Not much? You're not alone. To help you understand the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and separate fact from fiction, we've gathered some facts from industry experts to clarify some common misconceptions.

Myth #1: The ACA cuts Medicare
According to the AARP, the ACA prohibits cuts to guaranteed Medicare Benefits. The ACA also does not eliminate the Medicare Advantage Plan, a privately administered plan that provides benefits for about one-quarter of Americans with Medicare (this plan actually costs taxpayers 14 percent more per enrollee than traditional Medicare). Doctors for America says the ACA will help seniors afford prescription drug by gradually closing the Medicare Part D "doughnut hole."

Myth #2: The ACA will drive up premiums
Kaiser Health News (KHN) reports that no one knows for sure if consumers will have to pay more for health insurance under the ACA. KHN says, "Even supporters of the law acknowledge its steps to control healthcare costs...may take a while to show significant savings. Opponents say the law's additional coverage requirements will make health insurance more expensive for individuals and for the government." The government will levy several new taxes and fees to help offset these costs.

According to Insurance News Report, the ACA contains a little-known provision that federal lawmakers and members of Congress (with the exception of the U.S. Supreme Court) will no longer have access to the government's health insurance plan, and must purchase coverage from the same insurance exchanges as other citizens. This change may be largely symbolic; however, it's worth noting the federal government spends $50 billion on health insurance for lawmakers.

Myth #3: The ACA is a government takeover of healthcare
According to the White House, the goal of the ACA is to put individuals in charge of their own healthcare by creating a fairer marketplace and implementing consumer protections. The White House says, "Families and individuals that don't have access to affordable coverage can receive tax credits to help them purchase coverage in private health insurance markets. There is no government-sponsored, public or 'single payer' plan in the law."

Myth #4: Individuals will have to make changes in their health insurance, even if they are happy with their current plan
The ACA exempts most plans that existed when the bill passed from some of the law's consumer protections, and preserves consumers' rights to keep the coverage they already had before health reform.




WhiteHouse.gov. "Understanding Reform." Web. http://www.hhs.gov/opa/affordable-care-act/

WhiteHouse.gov. "Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OPs)." Web. 21 February 2012. http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/choices/co-op/index.html

DrsForAmerica.org. "Get the Facts: Busting the Top 10 Myths on the Affordable Care Act." Web.

Howard, Beth. "11 Myths About Health Care Reform." AARP The Magazine. September 2012. Web. http://www.aarp.org/health/health-insurance/info-09-2012/medicare-and-health-care-reform-myths.html

Nordstrom, Shawn. "Affordable Care Act Has Some Little-known Tricks Up Its Sleeve." LiveInsuranceNews.com. Web. 14 May 2012. http://www.liveinsurancenews.com/affordable-care-act-has-some-little-known-tricks-up-its-sleeve/8512012/

Carey, Mary Agnes, and Gold, Jenny. "After the Election: A Consumer's Guide To The Health Law." KaiserHealthNews.org. Web. 8 November 2012.  http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2012/March/22/consumer-guide-health-law.aspx

WhiteHouse.gov. "Myths and Facts."

Healthcare.gov. "Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) and Uniform Glossary." Web. 23 September 2012.  http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/rights/sbc/index.html

Healthcare.gov. "Consumer Assistance Program." Web. 24 August 2012. http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/rights/consumer-assistance-program/index.html

Healthcare.gov. "Appealing Health Plan Decisions." Web. 12 July 2012. http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/rights/appealing-decisions/index.html

Healthcare.gov. "Grandfathered Health Plans." Web. 20 August 2012. http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/rights/grandfathered-plans/index.html

Healthcare.gov. "Patient's Bill of Rights." Web. 6 February  2012.  http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/rights/bill-of-rights/index.html

Healthcare.gov. "Children's Pre-Existing Conditions." Web. 2 August 2012. http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/rights/childrens-pre-existing-conditions/index.html

Healthcare.gov. "Doctor Choice & ER Access." Web. 6 February 2012. http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/rights/doctor-choice/index.html

Healthcare.gov. "Curbing Insurance Cancellations." Web. 27 January 2012. http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/rights/cancellations/index.html

Healthcare.gov. "Insurance Choices." Web. http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/choices/index.html

Healthcare.gov. "What is the Affordable Care Act?" Web.