Massachusetts, California Ensure Coverage

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On September 7, Massachusetts became the fifth state to ensure comprehensive coverage for prosthetic care under the law. After years of hard work by groups like the Massachusetts Society of Orthotists and Prosthetists and with support from the Amputee Coalition of America (ACA), Governor Romney signed H5256 into law. H5256 mandates that insurance plans provide coverage for prosthetics that equals the coverage provided for such devices under the Federal Medicare laws.

Just a few weeks later, California became the sixth state to protect prosthetic coverage under the law. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed AB2012 on September 30. The new law mandates that insurance plans offering benefits for orthotic and prosthetic care must provide full coverageŚwithout caps and co-pays that restrict access to prescribed devices. The new bill will make certain that insured, working people can continue working and supporting their families.

The California law also mandates that O&P providers will have met a standard level of competency to fit and furnish devices and services by being nationally certified.

The ACA's Action Plan for People with Limb Loss (APPLL) has made tremendous progress in the past few months. Pennsylvania's coverage bill, HB2178, was heard by the House Health & Human Services committee on October 19. Activists from all over the state were expected to be in attendance with a slate of supporters scheduled to testify. We also are still awaiting an Assembly floor vote in New Jersey.

The ACA continues to hear from activists every month looking to start coverage efforts in their states. Recent inquiries have come from Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Indiana.

The ACA also will officially launch our brand new state organizing kit and our cutting-edge online action center this month.

With continued and increased support from consumers, practitioners, other individuals and organizations, and manufacturers, we will continue to build the momentum around prosthetic coverage!

Morgan Sheets is the national advocacy director for ACAs APPLL initiative. She can be reached at APPLL@amputee-coalition.org

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