Top five myths of the Affordable Care Act

7:49 AM, Sep 12, 2013   |    comments
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(Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

ATLANTA -- With less than three weeks to go before open enrollment begins for the new health care exchanges, the Poynter Institute posted a list of five myths about the Affordable Care Act.

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The list was created by Julie Rovner, a health policy correspondent for NPR specializing in the politics of health care.

1) The law changes everything about the nation's health care system. 

The law mostly builds on the existing system. A majority of people will continue to get private health insurance through their job or a family member's job or through an existing program like Medicare.

2) The law won't change anything if you already have insurance.

The truth is that you may not be able to keep your policy, even if you like it. Some people will be required to buy better but more expensive coverage, and some companies will scale back on the insurance they offer employees and their families.

3) The law is a government takeover of the health care system.

Rovner uses a quote from Aaron Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University and a blogger at the Incidental Economist: "We will still be one of the most private-based health care systems in the world."

4) You'll know how much your insurance will cost.

It's still too early to say for sure. The government's website, www.healthcare.gov, indicates that pricing information won't be available until October 1. There will be different levels of coverage. Depending on your income, you may be eligible for tax credits.

You may have to pay more but you won't be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions.

5) We know what impact the law is having on health spending.

In 2011, health spending grew 3.9 percent; that's the slowest rate in the last half century. Most economists say it's too soon to know the impact.

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