Governor Sam Brownback
Capitol, 300 SW 10th Ave., Ste. 241S
Topeka, KS 66612-1590
Dear Governor Brownback,
I am writing in support of your decision to declare the month of April as “Limb Loss Awareness Month” in Kansas. This is an important step towards raising awareness of health and lifestyle changes to prevent limb loss but also to highlight the health care disparities that many with limb loss face.
For example, Kansas state employees who are covered by the State health care contract, drafted by the Kansas Health Policy Authority, do not receive the same standard of care that is customary by the Veteran’s Administration, Medicare and Medicaid. In order for a Kansas state employee to receive the same standard of care, they would have to pay $20-30,000 out of pocket. Financially, an employee would be better off to quit working and accept disability so that they could afford a prosthesis. Many do - or mortgage their homes and wipe out savings or retirement accounts.
To date, nineteen states have passed a parity law to prevent this type of health disparity. Please consider changing the state health care plan to cover prosthetics on par with medical coverage. For example, coverage for prosthetic care should at least meet Medicare standards (80 percent paid by plan, 20 percent by patient, no exemptions on microprocessor devices, 5-year useful lifetime limit).
All people with limb loss who pay for insurance should receive appropriate and medically necessary treatment: their arms and legs. Prosthetics provide dignity and self-reliance. Prosthetics put people back to work. Returning amputees to the workforce strengthens a community and its economy.