On Dec. 13, 2009, Illinois governor Pat Quinn signed parity bill HB 2652 into law requiring health insurance plans to provide no less favorable coverage for prosthetics as well as custom orthotics than provided within the medical and surgical benefits offered by the plan.
James A. Kaiser, CP, chief executive officer of Scheck and Siress, president of the Illinois Society of O&P and president of the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association said this passage “was truly a victory for all patients in need of O&P care.”
The law, which will go into effect on June 1, 2010, is expected to significantly impact the more than 69,000 people in Illinois living with limb loss as well as those living with spina bifida, cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy.
“Those covered by orthotic and prosthetic insurance policies will get stronger and better coverage that is in line with other medical and surgical insurance benefits,” Quinn said in a news release. “This new law should provide a greater degree of financial protection and security to those who depend upon these important devices and to their families.”
The law “ensures quality O&P care by requiring the care to be provided by Illinois licensed practitioners,” Kaiser told O&P Business News. “This is big. It ties the type of O&P care to the qualified provider who is employed by an O&P facility that is paid for the service.”
The new law follows the same device-defining conventions adopted by the Illinois O&P Act applied to licensing. It includes custom orthotics but excludes foot orthotics.