Saturday, October 11, 2008

Time is running out

We must get this policy changed before the new contract year! Here is a new letter for KS residents. Don't forget to change the text in [red]:


Duane A. Goossen, Chair and Secretary of Administration
Kansas Health Care Commission
Room 900-N, Landon State Office Building
900 SW Jackson Street - Topeka, KS 66612

Dear Mr. Goossen,

By now you are aware of the limitations in the state employee health care plan regarding prosthetic coverage for amputees. Despite our efforts to change the restrictions facing state employee amputees, the contract reads:

"Coverage is limited to the basic (standard) appliance or device which will restore the body part or function. If you elect to purchase a prosthetic appliance or device with deluxe enhancements or features such as electronic components, microprocessors or other features designed to enhance performance, the Plan is only responsible for the amount that would have been allowed for a basic (standard) appliance. You will be responsible for paying the additional cost of the deluxe enhancements, electronic components, microprocessors, performance enhancements, comfort, convenience or luxury items."

The wording in the contract is identical to the limitations placed on durable medical equipment (DME) despite assurances from KHPA that limb prostheses are under medical coverage. There is nothing deluxe, luxurious, comfortable, performance enhancing or convenient about a prosthetic limb. Who determines whether a prosthesis is comfortable or convenient and thereby denied? It reflects badly on the state of Kansas when state employees are not afforded the same quality of prosthetic care as KS Medicaid recipients.

At the present time, it is illegal in 17 states to sell policies having such arbitrary exclusions and parity laws are pending in 30 additional states. Federal legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate to make coverage at least equal to that offered by Medicare as a national requirement.

Please change this policy language before the beginning of the new contract year.


[Your name and address]

Cc: Governor Mark Parkinson
Capitol, 300 SW 10th Ave., Ste. 212S
Topeka, KS 66212-1590

Doug Farmer
KHPA – State Employee Benefits Plan
Room 900-N, Landon State Office Bldg.
900 SW Jackson Street
Topeka, Kansas 66612