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Prosthetics, orthotics coverage parity proposed

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 26, 2010

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Sens. Tom Harkin (D, Iowa) and Olympia Snowe (R, Maine) have introduced legislation that would require group health plans that cover prosthetics or orthotics to provide that coverage on the same terms as medical and surgical benefits.

According to the lawmakers, while most insurers cover prosthetics and orthotics, there are instances in which the benefits are arbitrarily capped or exclusions are imposed. The Prosthetics and Custom Orthotics Parity Act, introduced April 16, would require health plans to provide the same benefits parameters for prosthetic devices as they do for other treatments.

"Hundreds of thousands of Americans living with limb loss are currently required by their insurance companies to pay out of pocket for prosthetic devices that are integral to their daily lives," Harkin said.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/04/26/gvbf0426.htm.

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