Some infants and children who live with acid reflux benefit from special formulas that are easily digested and free of potentially allergic proteins. These formulas are referred to as elemental formulas, since they are made of proteins broken down to their "elemental level." Formulas such as Neocate and EleCare are examples of elemental formulas. For our family, these formulas made a huge positive difference in the health of our son.
Unfortunately, the cost of these formulas are beyond the reach of many families, and insurance companies are often reluctant to help with the cost.
At present, only six states cover the cost of elemental formulas. States with legislative mandates for amino acid-based elemental formula coverage are: Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and New York. The legislators in these states understand that in the long run, appropriate nutrition for children is much cheaper than invasive surgical procedures or malnutrition.
If you do not live in one of the six states mentioned above, and you and your healthcare team have determined your baby or child may benefit from a special formula, you may be interested to know about the Children's Milk Allergy and Gastrointestinal Coalition (MAGIC). This organization was created to promote the healthcare coverage and reimbursement of elemental formulas. Children's MAGIC is currently working on legislative efforts aimed at increasing insurance coverage and reimbursement for products like Neocate and other special foods. Their Web site is very informative, provides hints about working with your insurance company, and provides a summary of ongoing legislative efforts aimed at increasing insurance coverage and reimbursement for special foods.
Published On: August 30, 2007