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Rehabilitative therapy for TBI may be covered by insurance

In an earlier post, we discussed the type of intensive rehabilitation therapy Rep. Gabrielle Giffords would require after getting shot in the head. Because Giffords was shot while she was working, the expensive treatment for her traumatic brain injury (TBI) was covered by workers' compensation.

However, not all individuals who need rehabilitation are so lucky. In Ohio, if individuals are not injured while they are working, they may face lengthy battles with their insurance companies fighting for the coverage they need.

Because of those frustrations, other representatives are now working to make rehabilitative services available to all individuals who have suffered brain injurys, regardless of whether they were injured on the job. Several representatives are teaming up with the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) to help raise the awareness and help guarantee insurance coverage will be available.

For some individuals, insurance coverage after a traumatic brain injury can be inconsistent. Individuals who were injured on the job may have an opposite experience. For example, there is no cap on the amount of rehabilitative therapy Giffords can receive.

The goal of the BIAA is to help ensure intensive rehabilitative therapy is covered for everyone who suffers a traumatic brain injury. Thankfully, that is the direction in which they are moving. One of the main reasons some insurance companies deny coverage is because of the lack of proof regarding the effectiveness of therapy. However, one spokesperson with the BIAA said that "there has been more advancement in the past five years than in the previous 500 years."

Source: UPI, "Giffords attack focuses head injury debate," Kyle Jahner, 7 April 2011

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