6. Tanning will cost you
You've been paying a 10 percent tax every time you've visited the tanning booth, thanks to health care reform.
The UV-emitting tanning devices have been classified as "carcinogenic to humans" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization. Indoor tanning has also been banned for minors in California because of the potential for skin cancer.
Effective date: July 1, 2010.
7. Support for wellness programs at work
Face it, staying healthy in a stressful workplace with the tempting soda machine in the break room can be tough. But the health care reform law gives companies incentives to start wellness initiatives.
Small business got incentives in 2011, when companies with fewer than 100 employees working at least 25 hours per week became eligible for wellness program grants. The law sets up a $200 million grant program from 2011 to 2015.
As of 2014, participants in wellness programs generally can get discounts or rewards from their employers of up to 30 percent of the cost of their health care premiums (currently, the maximum discount is 20 percent). That reward can go up to 50 percent if the secretaries of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury deem it appropriate.
Effective date: Jan. 1, 2011, for the small business and Jan. 1, 2014, for the potential discount raise.
8. Free preventive care
Mammograms, physical exams, colonoscopies, vaccinations -- these are among the preventive care services that will be fully covered by insurance companies.
This requirement kicked in for new health insurance plans that began on or after September 2010. Examples of preventive care include screenings for cholesterol, diabetes, HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, which are covered without a co-pay.
For women, this would also cover genetic counseling for the BRCA gene for women at higher risk of breast cancer, mammograms every one or two years for women over age 40 and HPV DNA testing every three years for women. For kids, the services include autism, vision, developmental and lead screenings. The complete list is available here.
Effective date: All health insurance plans must comply by 2018.
9. Home visits to expecting families
The law also includes funding support for early childhood home visitation for people expecting children and families who have young children. Professionals come to the home to provide information and support. The aim is to reduce child abuse and neglect, promote the health of mothers and their children and prioritize high-risk populations. Research supports such positive outcomes. The health care law provides $1.5 billion for related state-based initiatives over five years.
Effective date: Began in 2010 with $100 million for fiscal year.
10. Health plans you can read
Have you ever been confused by the language in health insurance plans?
The health reform law requires health insurers and health plans to provide concise and understandable information about the plan and its benefits. According to the Health and Human Services press release, "The new rules will also make it easier for people and employers to directly compare one plan to another."
Patients have a right to two key documents to understand and compare their health insurance choices: a comprehensible summary of benefits (which is standardized similar to nutrition facts on packaged foods) and a glossary of terms of health insurance coverage.
Effective date: Sept. 23, 2012.