The ITEM coalition is collecting information on typical coverage of rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices by employer-sponsored health insurance plans. They are particularly interested in things like physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, etc. and devices (durable medical equipment) and things like orthotics, prosthetics, or other assistive devices. If you (or someone you can respond for) has health insurance through an employer and have ever had a disability or chronic condition, please take a moment to respond to this quick 10 question, anonymous survey called “Insurance Coverage of Rehabilitative and Habilitative Devices,” at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LY58SY5. The survey closes on September 23 and the results will help The Arc and other members of the ITEM coalition to advocate for comprehensive coverage of these services and devices within the new insurance exchanges.
On Thursday, The DPC’s Marty Ford will provide testimony to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on the development of the essential benefits package under the Affordable Care Act. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) contracted with the IOM to develop recommendations that HHS can use to develop regulations implementing this part of the law. Her comments will focus on the inclusion of habilitation services as part of the benefit design. Habilitation services are those that enable a person with a significant disability to acquire, retain, improve or prevent deterioration of activities of daily living (ADL) or instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) skills and function over time.