Researching and preparing for my transition away from my godawful HMO, I've become a bit of an expert on Obamacare/ACA, also known as the Affordable Care Act. I'm one of the millions stuck with a godawful HMO, and crap access to care because of pre-existing conditions.
The Health Insurance Exchanges, which you are legally required to buy insurance from, unless you are Medicaid/Medicare eligible, or have qualified coverage from your employer, have some goodies we're just finding out about.
One of which is DME's, or Durable Medical Equipment, is considered essential coverage. In other words, insurance providers must cover DME's starting January 1, 2014, for most Americans.
One common DME is diapers.
The ACA doesn't set a lot of ground rules for what is a qualifying DME. That appears to be left up to HHS and the exchanges. It doesn't look like HHS has made a ruling on what is essential.
In Medicaid, covered DMEs include diapers. In Medicare, covered DMEs typically do not. It's a toss-up what Obamacare will fall under. Also state exchanges may be able to override HHS, at least in adding diapers if HHS blocks them.
Obviously, for incontinent people, this is a big win if diapers are included in the mandated DMEs. It's also a win for ABDLs. We're going to get much better diapers in America, in-line with Europe. The cost and quality of diapers will rise in order to bill insurance providers.
Then there's the debate for ABDLs as to if we should go and get prescriptions for diapers. While that is often criticized... I tend to believe if a diaper provides adequate psychological support, it's far better than most of the medications out there to relieve stress, anxiety, and even chronic pain. It may be a difficult conversation to have with your doctor/therapist, but free Secure Care X-Pluses and/or Abri-form X-Plus... may take some of the sting out of that conversation.
Still, don't get your hopes up yet too much folks. A lot of lobbyists in the diaper industry and insurance industry are probably pounding on HHS's door over this already. I have no idea which way this one will tip. There's so much not-yet-ruled on by HHS, we may not even know Jan 1 if diapers are a covered DME (but I suspect we'll have a good idea or a preliminary list by then).
Oh, and if you become eligible under the Medicaid expansion, also set to start Jan 1, 2014 - covered diapers are guaranteed. Check with your state to see if you are going to be covered under Medicaid.
(Please don't let this thread devolve into a debate about Obamacare... I'm checking my opinion at the door, I'll ask everyone else to do the same - bottom line it takes effect mostly on Jan 1 2014, and nothing really is going to stop it at this point from taking effect).