|Posted:||April 13, 2022 02:34 PM|
|From:||Representative Dan L. Miller and Rep. Bridget M. Kosierowski|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Insurance Coverage for Wheelchair Maintenance|
|Research shows that more than 50% of wheelchairs break down in the first six months after they are fitted to their user. For certain populations, that rate is even higher, with one study citing up to 88% of veterans who use a wheelchair needing a repair in the same six-month window. In the best of circumstances, poor and infrequent wheelchair maintenance can be the difference between going outside or making it to work that day and being confined to one’s bed or home. For others, it can mean costly hospitalizations, permanent injury, and even death.
As such, this bill would require that each wheelchair user in the Commonwealth, whether publicly or privately insured, has access to two wheelchair maintenance well-visits per year covered by their insurance, where repairs and adjustments can be made to ensure the comfort and safety of the user. This bill would also require each existing user and new user to be notified of their right to these two well-visits.
Wheelchairs are a lifeline to independence, and for individuals that rely on their wheelchair, ill-fitting, damaged parts can leave people stranded and isolated while they wait for repairs. In the same way that we know a car must be serviced regularly to ensure the safety of the driver, establishing a regular wheelchair service plan is preventative, and in many cases, life-saving medicine.
Please consider supporting this legislation that seeks to prioritize the health and accessibility needs of wheelchair users in Pennsylvania.
Please see the attached draft language.
Introduced as HB2522