The Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act (ELSA) seeks to address treatment needs for children suffering from congenital anomalies and birth defects. S. 560, in the Senate, is sponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Joni Ernst (R-IA), and in the House, H.R. 1379 is sponsored by Representatives Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Denver Riggleman (R-VA).
1 out of every 33 children in the US is born with a congenital anomaly. These anomalies include severe oral and facial defects and can interfere with the ability to breathe, speak and/or eat in a normal manner. For many children, specialized surgery is needed and the procedures are reconstructive, since they are performed to correct abnormal structures. However, despite the reconstructive nature and necessity of such procedures, many insurance companies consider these services to be merely cosmetic. While they may provide coverage for the preliminary surgeries, insurers will delay or deny follow-up or corrective procedures, including necessary dental treatment, which can have a negative impact on a child’s developmental milestones.
ELSA would make sure that all children have coverage for treatment of these anomalies by requiring all private group and individual health plans to cover medically necessary services resulting from a congenital anomaly or birth defect. Take action today to ask your Senators to cosponsor S. 560 and your Representative to cosponsor H.R. 1379.