In a recent poll by the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation, two in three Americans said they have not been affected by the law yet. Only 14% said they have benefited; 21% said they have been affected negatively.
Here’s a look at some provisions with the broadest potential impact:
Pre-existing conditions. Insurers will be prohibited from denying coverage to anyone because of a pre-existing condition.
Lifetime limits. Insurers cannot impose lifetime dollar limits on essential benefits, such as hospital services. More than 20,000 people hit their lifetime limits in 2009.
Newly insured. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that by 2016, the law will increase the number of Americans with health insurance by 30 million to 33 million.