Starting Sept. 23, 2010, consumers gained important new protections: guaranteeing access to coverage for kids with pre-existing conditions, improving your right to choose a doctor, prohibiting insurers from canceling policies unfairly, and more. Get the facts on the new Patients’ Bill of Rights and other consumer protections. For more on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—including who will benefit, what it will mean for your state, and information on the new law—check out Health Reform Central.

Go to Health Reform Central’s Roadblocks for up-to-date information on attempts to repeal or nullify the new law.

New Resources from Families USA

Exposing Scam Insurance Plans is a new page on our site, featuring links to our new Special Report, Buyer Beware: Unlicensed Insurance Plans Prey on Health Care Consumers, which looks at several companies that have run afoul of regulators in at least 21 states for selling “bogus” health insurance (October 2010). We also link to the state “cease and desist” orders and other legal actions against these companies.

Express Lane Eligibility: What Is It, and How Does It Work? explains how express lane eligibility programs work in light of the 2009 Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA), and describes options for states in designing their programs. (October 2010)

How States Are Making Sure Coverage Is Available to Children notes that, under health reform, insurers are required to accept children regardless of any pre-existing conditions in all group plans and in newly sold individual plans, and it examines what several states are doing to make sure that child-only policies are still available. (October 2010)

Implementing Health Insurance Exchanges: A Guide to State Activities and Choices describes the requirements in the Affordable Care Act that exchanges must meet and outlines key questions that states and consumer advocates will need to consider as the exchanges are designed. (October 2010)

In Perspective: Better Safety and Quality for Seniors and People with Disabilitiesdiscusses the Elder Justice Act, the Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act, and the Nursing Home Transparency and Improvement Act, three sections in the Affordable Care Act that will bring historic improvements to the quality and safety of long-term care and result in the most comprehensive federal effort ever to fight elder abuse. (October 2010)

In Perspective: Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act—Reframing the Debateaddresses concerns about the effect of the Medicaid expansion on state budgets and outlines the many benefits that the Medicaid expansion will bring to states and the uninsured. (October 2010)

How Health Reform Helps Communities of Color is a series of state-based fact sheets that discuss how provisions in the Affordable Care Act—both those for the general public and those specifically designed to eliminate health disparities—help communities of color in each state. (September-October 2010)

Lower Taxes, Lower Premiums: The New Health Insurance Tax Credit examines how this tax credit will help both insured and uninsured Americans. It provides data on the number of people eligible, the total dollars available, and on how it will help working families in particular. | State Reports (September-October 2010)