AUGUSTA — New provisions from the federal Affordable Care Act went into effect today that provide health care consumers with a number of new rights and protections.

Maine Senate Democrats said the new provisions include prohibiting health insurers from denying coverage to kids with pre-existing conditions, stopping insurers from putting a lifetime limit on benefits, allowing young adults up to age 26 to stay on their parents’ insurance, and requiring providers to offer cost-free preventative services.

All new protections from the new federal health care law must be phased by 2014.