Educating Your Lawmakers
There are many reasons to contact your legislator directly to share your perspective. As their constituent, they want to hear from you, and even a handful of letters and calls on the same topic will resonant for them.
On April 17, people living with limb difference and limb loss visited legislators in Washington, D.C. There were three areas that we discussed and flyers with more details:
- Introducing or sponsoring federal insurance fairness
- Co-sponsoring and supporting a bill to make sure Medicare coverage changes are transparent (LCD)
- Including prosthetist’s notes in your medical record as part of insurer’s requirements for medical necessity documentation.
If you’d like to reach out to your legislator, please let them know that you would like their support in these areas.
If you have questions or any issues, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advocacy and the Amputee Coalition
The Amputee Coalition helps bring together and amplify the voice of people affected by limb loss and limb difference.
Making sure our legislators and insurance policymakers are educated about the needs of the community is an important part of our mission. We partner with other organizations to bring you the tools you need to understand and address a broad range of issues listed below. We also build partnerships with the Administration for Community Living (ACL), the Veterans Administration (VA), the Department of Defense (DOD), and other federal agencies, as well as with other disability groups and organizations that serve as allies. These partnerships are often broader, delving into needs around the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Medicare and Medicaid, funding for programs and research, and access to care. The Amputee Coalition works with partners to ensure the limb loss community, the disabled community, and the professionals that support these communities are well-represented.
Everything you do makes a difference and turns up the volume of your voice!
Insurance Fairness for Amputees
The Amputee Coalition has worked to pass 20 state laws that ensure insurance companies that operate in those states provide adequate coverage for prosthetic care. With health care reform coming to the forefront for the second time since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, the Amputee Coalition is once again focused on advancing the Insurance Fairness for Amputees Act at the federal level and in the remaining 30 states that don’t currently have such a law. This legislation seeks to eliminate arbitrary caps and restrictions placed on prosthetic care and to treat prosthetic care like other benefits within an individual’s policy.
The Amputee Coalition will look to maintain current funding from the Administration for Community Living (ACL) which is part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. This funding helps us deliver the services and resources the Amputee Coalition provides for the limb loss community. In addition, funding research that better identifies and quantifies how to help people living with limb difference and limb loss thrive is an important funding need. There is some research related to prosthetic care and devices, and very little related to other important areas like long-term physical and emotional impacts, mental health challenges, access to meaningful work, levels of discrimination and more.
Health Care Reform
The Amputee Coalition works to protect provisions in the Affordable Care Act pertinent to people with limb loss, including protection for pre-existing conditions, allowing children to remain on caregiver’s plan until the age of 26, essential health benefits that include prosthetic care under the “rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices” provision, removal of lifetime caps, and protections like out-of-pocket maximums. Our community must not be left out or forgotten.
Reasonable Travel for Amputees
Assuring that security screening is conducted in a reasonable and appropriate fashion by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for people with limb loss remains a priority for the Amputee Coalition. There remain concerns about intrusive and inconsistency in screening policies from the limb loss community. The Amputee Coalition will continue to work with TSA as members of the TSA’s Disability and Multicultural Coalition Task Force to help them to understand these issues so that they can be appropriately addressed to make the traveling experience as reasonable as possible while maintaining the safety for all travelers.
Limb Loss Awareness Month Proclamations
The Amputee Coalition continues to seek proclamations every April in all 50 states to declare April as Limb Loss Awareness Month. In addition, a template letter and copy of proclamation language is available for those who would like to help raise awareness with city councils, mayors, governors, state legislators, and more to continue to push recognition and support during Limb Loss Awareness Month. This will help the Amputee Coalition to raise awareness about limb loss and provide a mechanism for the whole community to increase their awareness of limb loss.