TUCSON, Ariz. — A speaker at the Amputee Coalition National Conference, here, discussed recent updates and new ways the O&P community can ensure insurance fairness in legislation.
Fair insurance for limb loss and limb difference requires private insurers to offer prosthetic and custom orthotic coverage equal to the amount offered for other major medical expenses, Ashlie White, director of operations at Beacon Prosthetics and Orthotics in North Carolina, said.
However, in order to achieve fairness, advocacy groups must seek out resources, support groups and educate those within their communities.
“Amputees and their families are the constituents these laws benefit most,” White said. “There is a direct correlation with what you are able to do vs. what the insurance company warrants. So, you have to know in your heart that you deserve something and fight for it.”
Thus far, 20 states have insurance fairness laws in place, and New York Sate recently eliminated its one limb per life restriction, according to the Amputee Coalition. Effective Jan. 1, 2016, all plans available on the health insurance exchange must cover repairs and replacement of prosthetic devices for both children and adults. There are 19 states currently working to incorporate fairness in legislation.
To launch an initiative, reference the Amputee Coalition’s resource guide, White suggested.
“They have a great website. You can find federal and state information. They have diagrams that explain where your state is at [in legislative policy], and they will give you reference of a certain bill. It is a just really good place to start.” – by Shawn M. Carter
White A. Insurance fairness. Presented at: Amputee Coalition National Conference; July 23-25, 2015; Tucson, Ariz.
Disclosure: White reports no relevant financial disclosures.