The Cost of Prosthetic Limbs: For Some Families, Diagnosis is Only the First Hurdle
The thing about a child…. They grow.
How much does it cost to raise a child? The USDA states that it costs an average of $250,000, (not including pregnancy or college) to raise a baby to adulthood in America. Reports like this give families a greater awareness of the expenses involved in family planning – a “heads up” so they can budget so they may have a shot at raising happy and well-cared for children.
“But what if my daughter was born without full development of her arms?” says the mother of three. “What if my younger brother was in an accident at age 6 and his right leg had to be amputated?” says the older sister. What about them? That USDA report no longer applies to THIS family. A family of a child in need of prosthetic limbs often has an even greater need for help.
The two million amputees in America, pay somewhere between $5,000 – $50,000 out-of-pocket each time they buy a new prosthetic limb. Adults have it easy; they only need to buy a new device every 2-5 years, but growing children need new prosthetic limbs more frequently.
The True Cost of Prosthesis for Children
Here’s the math for an eight-year old child with limb loss who needs to replace their prosthetic limb on every two years until age 18:
Minimum burden on families: $3,500 x 6 = $21,000
Maximum burden on families: $50,000 x 6 = $300,000
Children with amputated limbs need to replace or modify their initial prosthetic during the first 6 months to accommodate the physical healing process, often requiring multiple follow-up visits so the prosthetist can achieve the right fit. And depending on the natural wear and tear on the prosthetic, the level of daily activity, and the child’s growth rate, limb replacement may be required every year and a half.
Lower limb prosthetics range from $5,000 – $20,000. Upper limb devices start at $3,500, and can go up to $50,ooo for myoelectric apparatuses, which are externally mechanized and function through the natural signals of a child’s muscles.
The emotional trauma is unspeakable – unplanned in every way imaginable… and the financial burden can prove equally unbearable for less fortunate families.
Doesn’t health insurance cover for prosthesis for children?
Rarely. Most health insurances have an annual limit on how much a patient can spend on devices. It is never enough to cover the actual cost of prosthesis. The truth is, very few families can afford this crushing financial blow.
How does The Jordan Thomas Foundation fit in?
JTF’s sole purpose is to raise money to help these families we’re talking about here. By not only providing the prostheses they need throughout childhood and adolescence, but also by serving as a caring resource, advocate, and support system for the children and their families.
We also invite you to become a part of our family by helping one of our children walk, or giving the gift of dance, the gift of sport, the gift of play – and a chance at a joyous childhood by donating here. Thank you.