A doctor raises the leg of a person sitting in a wheelchair with an orthotic device over their knee.

SPRINGFIELD – People needing a prosthetic or orthotic device to perform certain physical activities may soon have an easier time obtaining the equipment they need, thanks to a measure led by State Senator Ann Gillespie.

“Proper prosthetic and orthotic devices can be life-changing,” said Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights). “It is unacceptable that a lack of insurance coverage and high out-of-pocket costs prevent people from getting the devices they need to be physically active.”

Current law requires accident and health insurance plans to cover prosthetic and orthotic devices when they are deemed medically necessary. Senate Bill 2195, which passed the Illinois Senate on Wednesday, expands the definition of what is considered medically necessary to include physical activities like running, biking, swimming and weight lifting.

The measure amends the Illinois Insurance Code to provide that any enrollee, regardless of age, will be covered for the most appropriate model determined by a medical provider in order to maximize the recipient’s overall health and strengthen their limb function.

“We have come a long way in terms of prosthetics and assistive devices,” Gillespie said. “Now we must focus on making it easier for those who need them to get this equipment that improves their physical health and quality of life.”

Senate Bill 2195 awaits consideration in the House.