Call to Action: ITEM Coalition Asks Congress to Support Insurance Fairness for Amputees Act

The Independence Through Enhancement of Medicare and Medicaid (ITEM) Coalition has asked members of Congress to sponsor new legislation that would preserve access to healthcare services for people with limb loss and other conditions requiring orthotics and prosthetics.

The Insurance Fairness for Amputees Act of 2012, H.R. 4175 and S. 773, seeks to remove “unrealistic” caps and exclusions for prosthetics and orthotics.

“For example, an insurer may only cover one prosthesis per lifetime or not cover any repairs or replacements to a device. This hurts all amputees, but it is especially difficult for children who need successive limbs as they grow. Additionally, some insurance plans impose specific exclusions on certain types of prostheses that rely on more advanced technology, despite the fact that these devices are consistent with contemporary medical practice and greatly aid amputees in improving their ability to function, work, live independently and live life to its fullest,” the organization said in a letter to Congress.

ITEM supporters also reminded senators and representatives that access to these devices can help prevent comorbidities, including orthopedic problems, obesity, diabetes, skin breakdown and peripheral vascular disease.

Read the full letter here.