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Zoey's pre-existing condition

When Roger's granddaughter Zoey was 7 years old, she was diagnosed with diabetes. Her family’s fortunate: Zoey’s mom, Sarah, is a university professor and has always had access to stable insurance to pay for her daughter's medication.

But when Sarah was ready to look for a tenured position at another school, she worried that switching insurance plans would disqualify her daughter from coverage because of her pre-existing condition. Roger explains the predicament:

"She was very capable of getting new jobs, but she was hesitant to apply for them. She was more than qualified, but she didn't go for it because of the fear that her daughter would be left without health care. So it wasn't that she applied and was denied—it was her stopping short of applying for fear of denial."

Roger says Sarah put her career on hold for a few years and was frustrated that she couldn't move up while making sure her daughter had health care at the same time.

Then came President Obama's Affordable Care Act in 2010, including one of its primary features: the ban on discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions. According to Roger, his daughter is starting to realize just how helpful the new law can be to her.

"I think that because of the Affordable Care Act, she is quite confident that the insurance company of a new employer won’t play games with her. It just slowed her down before, and then she was feeling uncertain about how solid the reforms would be in terms of their implementation. But I think as every month rolls by, she and the whole public is becoming a bit more trusting and aware of the enforcement of the law."

The only thing Sarah has to worry about now is which job to take.

"Now, she has offers from multiple employers, and she’s assuming that their packages won’t play games. She’s in the decision-making throes right now."

Besides stopping discrimination against Zoey, the President’s health care reform also closes the Medicare doughnut hole for seniors, helping Roger and his wife save money on prescription drugs.

"Clearly the pre-existing condition clause is justification enough—that's sufficient on its own. That’s really a big thing for a lot of people. And I’m aware of some of the other dimensions also, and my opinion is that it’s wonderful that it went as far as it did."

To find out what the Affordable Care Act does for you and your family, be sure to check out our health care app.

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