Boston Victims Get Free Prosthetics

Industry group offers to help those whose insurance won't pay enough

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted May 1, 2013 4:08 AM CDT

(Newser) – People who lost limbs in the Boston Marathon bombing don't need to worry about paying for prosthetics if they aren't covered by insurance, an industry group has pledged. The American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association has promised to supply prosthetics and initial services for the estimated 20 to 25 victims who underwent amputations after the blasts, including a 10-year-old boy and two victims who lost both legs, Reuters reports.

"We want to ensure that, in the midst of this horrific tragedy, these individuals are not further traumatized by the harsh and unreasonable limits that are present in all too many health insurance policies," says a spokesman for the AOPA, which notes that while a prosthetic limb can cost anywhere from $8,000 to $60,000, many insurance policies cap payouts at $2,500 or $5,000, USA Today reports. The lifetime cost of a prosthetic is estimated at $500,000, including replacements every five to seven years, and while the AOPA isn't covering all those costs, a fund to help victims has received $27 million in donations so far.

A microprocessor controlled ankle/foot prosthetic, a shock foot vertical loading pylon prosthetic and a flexible keel foot prosthetic  are displayed at the Orthotic Prosthetic Center in Fairfax, Va.
A microprocessor controlled ankle/foot prosthetic, a shock foot vertical loading pylon prosthetic and a flexible keel foot prosthetic are displayed at the Orthotic Prosthetic Center in Fairfax, Va.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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