Consumer Reports launched a new web-based tool to help consumers understand the Affordable Care Act.
HealthLawHelper.org, also available in Spanish at AseguraTuSalud.org, provides customized information for consumers, based on whether they're insured, the type of insurance they have and their financial and family circumstances.
The Affordable Care Act requires most Americans to have insurance starting in 2014 or pay a tax penalty. New government-run health insurance marketplaces opened in every state Oct. 1. Consumers can buy health plans from private insurers in the marketplaces and apply for tax credits and other financial help to afford coverage.
A Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 57 percent of Americans are confused about how the new law will affect them. Some 20 million people will be eligible for tax credits or other financial help through the law, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
"Health insurance is already one of the most complex products to purchase and the Affordable Care Act gives it a major overhaul," Nancy Metcalf, Consumer Reports' senior editor, said in a press release. "The Health Law Helper will provide customized information for consumers on every level of the coverage spectrum."
The tool also showcases stories from consumers affected by the health law, as well as links to more detailed health insurance content from Consumer Reports.