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Brain injury victim's mother fights for more insurance coverage

Right now, brain injury victims and their families aren't treated fairly by the healthcare system in the United States. In particular, since treatment and recovery after a traumatic brain injury can be a lifelong struggle, insurance companies generally don't offer anywhere near enough coverage for patients who have suffered a severe brain injury.

People in Galveston may be interested in the story of one young man who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident. He doesn't remember much about the crash, but he was hurled 40 feet in the air before landing on his head. According to his mother, the young man's insurance only covered him for 32 days. He was in the hospital about that long, so the insurance didn't even begin to cover the necessary hyperbaric therapy and rehabilitation.

The family has had to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket.

A doctor at the Hyperbaric Centers of Texas heard of the injured man's story after his mother created a website and non-profit organization devoted to raising awareness about traumatic brain injuries and providing support to families and injured individuals. The doctor says that since hyperbaric therapy isn't a big money-maker, it hasn't received enough attention from medical companies.

Still, the treatment is expensive by most people's standards, and as the injured man's mother points out, insurance companies don't offer much coverage for rehab.

Last month, the mother told her story to lawmakers in Washington, D.C., and she hopes more funding for research and other changes will make it easier for traumatic brain injury victims to get the treatment and rehabilitation they need. Texas residents with similar concerns would do well to apprise themselves of their rights under current personal injury laws.

Source: khou.com, "Mother of brain-injury victim takes message to Capital Hill," Jobin Panicker, March 30, 2013

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