An InjuryBoard blog shines a light on one of the more nefarious practices of the ugly health insurance industry — the tendency of insurance companies to deny needed treatment to kids with special needs:
Developmental problems are pervasive in their nature. They affect nearly every aspect of a child’s life. Some disorders, such as birth-trauma induced cerebral palsy, impact both the mental and the physical development of the child. As a result, these children often require specialized equipment, supplies, services, or devices able-bodied children do not need.
Unfortunately, health plans and insurance companies characterize such special requirements as not “medically necessary” — almost always at the plan administrator’s sole discretion — and deny these benefits. As a result, many families are forced to pay expenses out of pocket or to make the unsettling choice of forcing their child to do without the needed benefit. Compounding the insult is the fact that the law makes it exceedingly difficult to reverse the decision of the plan administrator.
One glaring example of the anti-consumer state of the law is the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Originally designed as a measure to protect workers and ensure they would receive the promised benefits of their employment, a series of court decisions over the past two decades gave plan administrators tremendous authority to deny claims. Only very recently have some courts begun ruling in favor of individuals instead of corporations.
Just another sign that it’s “medically necessary” that our health care system undergoes major surgery.
Special Needs Children Pay When Insurance Companies Don’t [InjuryBoard]