CAMBRIDGE, MA—Calling much-needed attention to the issue, a study released this week by Harvard University researchers found that almost no American health insurance plans provide coverage for sending a sickly child off to convalesce in the countryside. “Though it is generally agreed that many childhood ailments are remedied by sending wan and pallid children to stay with distant relatives in rural hamlets by the sea or remote mountain villages, such treatment is not included in over half of HMO and PPO plans,” said lead researcher Dr. Melissa Rhodes, stressing that of those insurance options that do provide coverage for transporting wicker-wheelchair-bound children to take the air in climates beneficial in relieving languor of the circulation, brain fever, consumption, and other diminishing ailments, most require a hefty co-pay or the meeting of a high deductible. “Unlike most European countries, where universal care includes retreats to seaside cottages where weak or enervated children are bundled in robes and white nightgowns, parents in the United States are forced to pay for these expenses out-of-pocket or rely on the charity of a wealthy local dowager. Tragically, figures seem to indicate that those whose insurance plans cover wellness sojourns to the fresh country air necessary for alacritous healing of weak lungs to fine fettle often use the services, only to have their claims denied by the insurance company.” Harvard’s study comes on the heels of similar research which found most insurance providers only offer members mental health treatment at the hands of an in-network lobotomist.
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