The National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics (NAAOP) has issued an action alert regarding the Insurance Fairness for Amputees Act. It appears below in edited form:
On April 8, 2011, Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced S.773, the Insurance Fairness for Amputees Act, which in previous Congresses was titled the Prosthetic and Custom Orthotic Parity Act.
S.773 would require plans that cover orthotic and prosthetic services to provide those benefits at the same level as other surgical and medical benefits provided under a private health plan, with no separate caps, arbitrary exclusions, or lifetime limits for O&P care.
Because the bill does not mandate coverage, it should not cost the federal government anything. Similar legislation is expected to be introduced in the House of Representatives.
Reintroduction of this legislation is critical in the O&P profession’s efforts to have orthotic and prosthetic services and devices covered under the essential health benefits package under the health reform bill. Introduction also creates a rallying cry around which O&P consumers and providers can organize advocacy efforts. We are asking all senators to cosponsor this important legislation. As members of the Senate and House are asked to cosponsor this bill, the general awareness level of the importance of O&P coverage continues to take hold.
Many O&P organizations deserve great credit for the success thus far of this initiative. The Amputee Coalition has been the lead supporter of federal parity efforts and has worked tirelessly over the years to enact state-based legislation that also ensures insurance fairness for O&P coverage under private insurance. In addition to the Amputee Coalition, members of the O&P Alliance, particularly the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association, have worked hard on this issue, as well as Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics.
NAAOP strongly supports S. 773 and is working hard to see that as many senators as possible become cosponsors of the legislation.
NAAOP urges members of the O&P community to ask your senators to cosponsor S. 773 and why it is important to do so. NAAOP recommends two ways of doing this:
- Visit the Congressional Action Center on the NAAOP website and send a message to your senator urging him or her to cosponsor S. 773; a draft message is there for this purpose.
- Use your 112th Congressional Directory to call your senators or call the Senate switchboard at 202.224.3121 and ask for your two senators’ offices.