Thursday, May 24, 2007

PA legislation seeks better coverage for artificial limbs

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Some health insurance plans in Pennsylvania evaluate coverage for prosthetics on a case-by-case basis or limit coverage to as low as $1,000 per year and one prosthetic over a lifetime, even for young children who will outgrow the devices, said the Amputee Coalition of America, which is advocating for better coverage.

State Rep. Bernie O'Neill, R-Bucks, wants to change that.

He has introduced legislation that would prohibit insurance companies from instituting lifetime caps on prosthetic devices. The change would set a uniform standard across the state, Mr. O'Neill said at a recent Capitol press conference

Without legislation ensuring coverage, insurers may reduce or eliminate coverage for prosthetics, he said.

People who are born without limbs or lose them to amputation face many obstacles, he said. "Not being able to pay for limb replacement to return to work or lead productive lives shouldn't be among them," he said.

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