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Massachusetts Estate Planning and Elder Law

Friday, May 17, 2013

Health Insurance Companies Urged to Cover Personal Location Devices

 

Currently, the purchase of and expenses related to a “Technology-Assisted Tracking Device” are not covered under health benefits plans in Massachusetts. Patients with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or Autism Spectrum Disorder can me prone to becoming lost or wandering from a given location. In addition to the panic and heartache this causes family members and caregivers, it often requires many hours of time from the police, fire department or other civil services. A quality “locator” device is invaluable to everyone, saving time, money and insuring less unsupervised time for the patient.

On January 16, 2013 Mr. Aaron Michlewitz of Boston, and five other people filed a petition to the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Financial Services (accompanied by a bill, House, No. 956) that would make this service available for coverage by health insurance. Filed as an amendment to Chapter 118E of the General Laws, the Act states:

               “A health benefit plan shall provide full coverage, subject to all applicable co-payments, co-insurance, deductibles and out of pocket limits, for insured individuals who are diagnosed by a licensed physician with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or Autism Spectrum Disorder, to obtain a Technology-Assisted Tracking Device if they or their guardian choose.”

The Act also clearly defines necessary capabilities of any wearable device such as being waterproof, work indoors or undercover and be-tamper resistant. We recommend that you read the short Bill and contact members of the Legislature to express support for this Amendment.

To read a copy of the Bill:

http://www.malegislature.gov/Bills/188/House/H956

To contact a member of the Joint Committee on Financial Services: http://www.malegislature.gov/Committees/Joint/J11

To find your House or Senate representative: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Search

To read about Lojack's Safety Net devices: http://www.lojack.com/People-at-Risk






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