August 4, 2016
The Toefer’s were married October 5th, 2013, just as Cameron was beginning his Army career. In the three years since, Cameron has deployed twice, and the couple has introduced the world to their two children: Jacqueline and Colton. Colton has been a fighter for the entire duration of his four short months, undergoing surgery for a lip tie, and battling a nasty round of the flu- which can devastate a tiny body like his. He is now faced with Plagiocephaly, and the recommended treatment for it is not covered by Tricare.
Rather than cover the relatively inexpensive band/helmet, Tricare prefers to wait until the affects from the Plagiocephaly have progressed to extremes, and then instead of covering the Band/helmet then, they send the baby to a surgery that is only 30% successful. By comparison, the band/helmet has a 100% success rate and no risks that are associated with surgery. While Tricare considers Plagiocephaly to be a cosmetic issue, the results of leaving it untreated are not. Some of those issues include compromises in the function of the eyes, ears, and jaw, as well as an elevated risk of motor and cognitive delays. Babies with untreated Plagiocephaly will experience severe ear infections at a much higher rate of occurance, and it is less treatable. They will also experience compromised brain function, putting an untreated infant at severe risk of auditory processing disorders by the time the child turns 5.
The band/helmet is a significantly low cost piece of medical gear in terms of insurance providers, but it can still be costly for private individuals. At $3,200 per band/helmet, the cost is difficult for most parents to meet, but when the price of NOT getting it is having a baby go through the side effects of plagiocephaly while waiting for a relatively unsuccessful surgery, the cost of the band/helmet must be met.