Protected But Priced Out: Patients Worry About Health Law’s Future In Arizona

Corinne Bobbie says she is grateful that the Affordable Care Act guaranteed health insurance for her 8-year-old daughter, Sophia, who was born with a heart condition. But Corinne and her husband still can’t afford coverage for the rest of the family.

Will Stone/KJZZ

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Will Stone/KJZZ

For years, says Corinne Bobbie, shopping in Arizona for a health plan for her little girl went like this:

” ‘Sorry, we’re not covering that kid,’ ” Bobbie recalls insurers telling her. ” ‘She’s a liability.’ “

On the day I visit the family at their home in a suburb north of Phoenix, 8-year-old Sophia bounces on a trampoline in the backyard. It’s difficult to tell she has a complex congenital heart condition and has undergone multiple surgeries.

“She’s a kid whose clock is ticking every day,” her mother says, “but she goes to school, she rides horses. She does everything a regular kid can do with a certain level of limitation.”

In the early years of Sophia’s life, the child’s pre-existing condition kept Bobbie and her husband, who runs a sandwich shop, on a constant quest for health coverage for Sophia. Her premiums alone were so expensive that the rest of the family often did without health insurance. The little girl’s medical bills were still huge, and the family racked up

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