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Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Applaud Congresswoman McCarthy's Legislation to Require Insurance Coverage for Children With Congenital Deformities
Date:3/11/2009

ROSEMONT, Ill., March 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) applauds Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) on her recent introduction of H.R. 1339, the Children's Access to Reconstructive Evaluation and Surgery (CARES) Act, which would require insurance plans, including those which fall under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), that provide surgical benefits, to cover reconstructive surgeries for children with congenital deformities, including craniofacial anomalies.

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Each year, approximately 1 in 600 children is born with some type of craniofacial abnormality which may result in distortion of facial tissue, the oral cavity and the skull. The most widely known craniofacial conditions are cleft lip and palate. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons donate thousands of hours each year performing corrective surgery on children suffering from congenital deformities, such as a cleft lip and palate, who are uninsured or living in medically underserved areas. However, thousands of children currently covered under health insurance plans are not able to receive corrective surgery because their claims are denied by insurers on the basis the procedure is deemed "cosmetic." While craniofacial anomalies may appear to be cosmetic, they often impede a child's ability to chew food, speak normally and perform other quality of life functions.

"The CARES Act is an important step toward ensuring that our nation's children no longe
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SOURCE American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons
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