ROBBINSVILLE, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Many of New Jersey’s physical therapy patients have cleared a health insurance hurdle that will mean lower copayments and more savings, thanks to the advocacy of the American Physical Therapy Association of New Jersey (APTANJ).
Beginning September 1, 2011, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey will decrease certain copayment amounts for physical therapy visits to a maximum of $30 for insured patients. Many patients had been charged higher copays, some as high as $50 per visit.
“This is a long-awaited, constructive change for patients who rely on physical therapy to recover from an illness or injury and to resume their normal routine,” said APTANJ president Brian Mason, PT, DPT.
The change in policy was announced by Horizon earlier this month. The insurer announced that this change would occur in order to comply with New Jersey’s Minimum Standards for Health, Dental and Prescription Benefits (NJAC 11:22-5.1-11).
“Evidence was presented to the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance and ultimately resulted in this 'course correction,' which will impact thousands of consumers in New Jersey," according to Mason.
Horizon also plans to compensate patients affected by this change by December 2011 for any excess copayment amounts incurred for physical therapy services – as well as those for occupational therapy, speech therapy and chiropractic services – provided between April 1, 2011 and August 31, 2011. Horizon’s members who qualify will be mailed checks later this year to compensate for this retrospective copayment correction.
Mason said the excessive copayments were blocking many patients from the therapy that was prescribed to them, particularly in light of the weak economy. This correction allows patients to have the access to therapy they need and to save some money in the process.
APTANJ continues to work with the payer community on issues that will improve access to physical therapy services, reasonable reimbursement and administrative processes.
Headquartered in Robbinsville, APTANJ represents approximately 2,000 members, including physical therapists and physical therapist assistants. The professional association is dedicated to “promoting the integrity and excellence of physical therapists and physical therapist assistants through the coordination of physical therapy advocacy, education, and resources.”
Visit www.aptanj.org for more information.