» more from CNBC Explains

Who needs to be covered?

You (likely) need to be. Under Obamacare, by Jan. 1 nearly all Americans must have health insurance coverage through either their employer, Medicare (if they're older than 65), Medicaid (if they're poor), or through new government-run health insurance exchanges.

Insurers won't be able to deny consumers coverage because of pre-existing health conditions, put a lifetime cap on the amount of benefits paid out, or charge different premium rates depending on gender. Plus, preventive care will be covered as a rule.

Teekid | E+ | Getty Images