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The ACA Affords Protections for Young People With Rare Health Conditions
Personal Story

The ACA Affords Protections for Young People With Rare Health Conditions

A Wisconsin patient with a rare condition was protected by the ACA’s preexisting condition provision and continuity of care.

In addition to protections for preexisting conditions, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also allowed children to stay on their parent’s health insurance until the age of 26. For William Garcia’s daughter, these provisions meant she could access the best continuous care.

Because of the ACA, my daughter could keep her insurance coverage and receive continuity of care when my wife accepted a new job with new insurance. Now, the pill that Merlin takes daily costs something like $400 a month without insurance. Because of the ACA, we only pay a $30 copay. Thanks to the ACA, Merlin can function in the world on a regular basis. William Garcia

When William Garcia’s daughter, Merlin, was diagnosed with a rare, potentially fatal malformation of blood vessels in her brain at age 11, the Garcia family worried about how they would afford her care. But since the ACA had just taken effect, insurance companies could not deny young Merlin coverage for her preexisting condition. As a result, the family was able to pursue a laser treatment that significantly reduced Merlin’s risk of a hemorrhage, and insurance covered most of the costs. Moreover, because the ACA guarantees young people the ability to stay on their parent’s insurance until age 26, Merlin has received continuity of care.

Protections in the ACA provide younger patients like Merlin with continuous health care coverage as they age. This has helped cut the uninsured rate among young Americans in half.

William Garcia and daughter Merlin are pictured in May 2012. (Photo credit: Merideth Garcia)

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