Alaska coverage needs to change

Letter to the Editor

Posted: Tuesday, December 05, 2006

There are over 1.8 million Americans who are living without a limb as a result of birth defect, trauma or from a disease. In return for premiums paid for group health insurance, consumers expect to be covered for illness or injury, including coverage for an amputee body part. Unfortunately, without legislation to ensure coverage, many people living with the absence of a limb are facing discouraging obstacles when trying to get coverage for prosthetics.

That is why people all over the country are working hard to advance legislation to require prosthetic coverage. These bills have already been passed in six states. It is time for Alaska to take action to protect the needs of people who have lost a limb.

The provision of prostheses results in a variety of benefits, some of which are fiscal in nature, some of which are more related to quality-of-life issues, such as a reduction in the secondary conditions caused by the sedentary lifestyles and the ability to lead productive lives.

The financial and social benefits provide a strong case for coverage. I urge people to contact their legislators to push for a prosthetic coverage bill in Alaska.

Melinda Brooks


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