Microprocessor-Controlled Prosthetic Limbs Better than Body-Powered Devices; Insurance Companies Sued for Failing to Provide Them

Three insurance companies were sued late last year for failing to pay for microprocessor-controlled prosthetic limbs. Those companies have claimed that the limbs are experimental or not medically necessary, despite evidence to the contrary. The lawsuits are seeking compensation for amputees who have had their claims denied, as well asking that the companies be forced to change their policies.

Currently, there are about two million people living with limb loss in the U.S. About 500 people a day, or 185,000 a year, have limbs amputated. People with limb loss require a prosthesis, which replaces a missing body part. For lower limb prostheses, there are two types: transfemoral (above the knee) and transtibial (below the knee).

In recent decades, technology has progressed so that manufacturers can use microprocessors to power artificial knees and feet in the devices. Microprocessor-controlled devices are more expensive than body-powered devices, and therefore many insurance companies are reluctant to pay for them. Many insurance companies label them as experimental, despite numerous studies showing all the benefits they offer amputees, including increasing stability, decreasing falls and pain, and improved ambulation on all surfaces. Amputees have begun suing insurance companies for violating the terms of their contracts by failing to provide coverage for those devices.

If you have suffered limb loss and your insurance company is refusing to provide coverage for a microprocessor limb, call me, Conal Doyle, personal injury attorney, at 310-385-0567. I am currently involved in several lawsuits against insurance companies and I can advise you on your best course of action. Call today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation.