Cook County State's Attorney's Office:
Press Releases

Richard A. Devine
Cook County State's Attorney
500 Richard J. Daley Center
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 603-3423

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 23, 2005

State's Attorney Settles Lawsuit for Coverage of Medical Claims

In a victory for Illinois families, the Cook County State's Attorney's office successfully settled a lawsuit today against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. The suit involved coverage for cranial helmets for infants that correct misshapen skulls.

Demand for the medical device grew rapidly following the start of the national "Back to Sleep" program, which was instituted to reduce SIDS fatalities by encouraging parents to place their infants on their backs to sleep. But putting infants to sleep on their backs sometimes resulted in misshapen heads. Parents and some health care professionals had concerns that, if left uncorrected, the condition might lead to long term health problems.
The settlement agreement addresses both past claims and future coverage for the devices. Under the terms of the settlement, Blue Cross will pay up to $3,000 to previously identified families who incurred out-of-pocket expenses. In addition, effective July 1, 2005, subject to medical necessity criteria, Blue Cross will cover the devices for their clients and offer employers the option of covering the devices for their employees.

"I am pleased we were able to settle this suit to the satisfaction of the families who turned to us for help," Cook County State's Attorney Richard A. Devine said.

The Cook County State's Attorney's Office and Blue Cross will be contacting families whose previous identified claims were refused. These claimants must respond by September 1, 2005. Those with inquiries should call the State's Attorney's Consumer helpline at (312) 603-8700.