Letters to the Editor

Poor coverage

September 20, 2008


To the editor:

It seems the world is filled with heroic and inspirational examples of amputees that defy all odds. Fitted with modern, high-tech components, they are no end of inspiration. Oscar Pistorius competes in the Olympics; Sarah Reinertsen competes in the Ironman; an amputee walked down 70 flights of stairs to escape the World Trade Center. Fortunately, they don't work for the state of Kansas.

I am faculty at KU Med and lost my leg in an accident. I thought I had adequate health insurance provided by the state, but it turns out that, thanks to the arbitrary and archaic language in the policy, the Kansas Health Policy Authority and Health Care Commission refuse to pay for the "electronic" components that make the leg functional.

I could receive this level of care if I were on Medicaid or Medicare. From a prosthetic standpoint, I would be better off to quit working and accept Social Security disability income and Medicare coverage and/or to declare bankruptcy and become a Medicaid recipient. Where is the fiscal sense in this?

It is illegal in 10 states to sell policies having such arbitrary exclusions. Parity laws are pending in 30 additional states, including Missouri. Federal legislation has been introduced in the House (HR 5615) to make coverage at least equal to that offered by Medicare as a national requirement. There is no legislation proposed for Kansas. Ask your representatives to sponsor such legislation and help bring Kansas into the electronic age.

Kathleen Gustafson,
Kansas City, Mo.


Chris Ogle 9 years, 9 months ago

This is shocking. The State should cover this, period. No more questions asked. Sincerely, an ashamed Kansan

Brent Garner 9 years, 9 months ago

I will also suggest that her policy won't cover any replacements for when the prosthetic wears out, and it will. Another issue to be addressed.

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