For the last several decades, one of the terms that those shopping for insurance dreaded to have applied to them was ‘preexisting condition’. Simply put, those who were found to have any type of preexisting medical condition before they applied for coverage would have to pay much higher insurance costs or be denied coverage altogether. This even extended into the realm of Medicare and Medicaid, and in some cases those using these government – backed programs had trouble getting supplemental coverage.

But thanks to the Health Care Act – often called ‘Obamacare’ – those restrictions are a thing of the past. Beginning in 2014, insurance companies aren’t allowed to turn down applicants because of preexisting conditions. They also can’t increase premium or deductible costs based on preexisting conditions. Additionally, your policy can’t refuse coverage for those conditions that are deemed preexisting.

This was one of the biggest issues in the old health insurance models. Those who had preexisting conditions could often take out insurance policies, but all medical care related to those conditions would be exempt from coverage. Starting in 2014, this is no longer the case.

That’s great news for countless Americans who need insurance coverage but have been refused coverage because of health conditions that are already present. And for those who are above age 65, it’s even better news since it means that things like Medicare Supplemental Insurance is easier than ever to purchase. Supplemental plans help provide additional coverage that will give them the kind of coverage they need.

Traditionally, these supplemental plans were often influenced by existing conditions to one degree or another. That’s no longer the case, and today it’s easy to apply for and get approved for coverage no matter what.

Today, insurance costs are based on other factors like age. Medicare costs are based on income levels and little else, though the additional types of Medicare coverage you buy will increase the price to one degree or another. Since age is the only real factor that increases health insurance costs under this new plan, it makes sense that Medicare – which is designed for older people – will likely see increased interest from Americans as they age.

It’s worth noting that certain Grandfathered health plans don’t have to adhere to these new guidelines. If you have a plan you bought for yourself, it could still charge based on preexisting conditions. But it’s easy to switch your plan to something different during open enrollment, and take advantage of this new rule in the insurance laws.