Prosthetic care

To the Addison Eagle: On April 23, Vermont became the tenth state to require health insurance companies to cover prosthetic care as they do all essential medical care when Gov. James Douglas signed Senate Bill 280 into law. This bill requires health insurance plans to provide coverage for prosthetic devices at least equivalent to that provided by the federal Medicare program. This prevents insurance companies from imposing special exemptions or financial caps on prosthetic benefits. Many Vermonters living with the loss or absence of a limb have faced discouraging obstacles when trying to obtain prosthetic care. The new law is very important to Vermonters who are seeking meaningful prosthetic care coverage from their health insurers. Providing prosthetics cost very little to the general insured population. It also saves money in the long run. The subsequent cost to the healthcare system far exceeds that of providing prosthetic care, while the lack of productivity places a huge burden on society. This new law will ensure that the tragedy of children living without a limb is not compounded by forcing them to spend the rest of their childhood in a wheelchair when help is readily available. Unfortunately, this law will only impact those plans regulated by the state government. There is a federal bill, House Resolution 5615 that would extend these protections to health plans that are federally regulated. Please, call on Vermont's congressional delegation to support this important legislation. Morgan Sheets, Montpelier

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