Bonacic Sponsors Prosthetic Parity Bill

John J. Bonacic

April 17, 2007

State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C - Mount Hope) sponsor of the Senate bill that would require insurance policies to cover prosthetic devices and the Assembly sponsor, Aileen Gunther, today joined with the Amputee Coalition of America and Chase Molinari from Sullivan County, highlighted the need for legislation to make access to prosthetic devices easier for amputees.

"This is a common sense measure that wouldn’t be necessary if health insurance companies allowed physicians to determine what is medically necessary for their patients," stated Senator Bonacic. "However, because certain companies refuse to do this, we need to enact laws that protect and improve the quality of life for all New York’s patients, particularly, persons who have lost limbs."

Senator Bonacic said that while many health insurance plans do cover prosthetic devices, unrealistic and limiting monetary caps are placed on the devices. This bill would provide mandatory prosthetic devices for children who periodically need to have alterations or replacements due to normal physical growth. The bill would also provide coverage for adults whose conditions have changed, and/or they require updated technology, repair, or replacement.

According to the Amputee Coalition of America, the lack of access to prosthetic devices has more costly, long term, negative health affects. Limiting physical activity for example, can lead to poor rehabilitation outcomes, places amputees at risk for obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

"Requiring insurance companies to provide ample coverage of prosthetic devices costs very little compared to the long-term cost to the individual and society if coverage is not provided" concluded Senator Bonacic.