Family says donated medical helmet already helping infant son after insurance denial

- For seven-month old Arcturus the medical helmet is more than a gift. It's a chance at a normal life.

"I don't know what to say," said his mother, Heather Brooks, in tears. "That's amazing."

After two weeks of wearing the medical helmet the family is already seeing a big result.

"You can see right here how it bumps out a little bit," said Brooks' husband, Benjamin Kern, pointing to his son's head. "Before we had the helmet that was completely flat." 

United Healthcare denied coverage of the FDA approved medical device which experts say is necessary to correct moderate to severe cases of a common skull deformity called plagiocephaly. 

The condition, also known as flat head syndrome, can be easily treated with helmet therapy. But FOX 46 found insurance companies often don't pay for the pricey device leaving many families feeling trapped. 

"[United Healthcare] told the advocate it didn't meet the need for medical necessity," said Kern.

FOX 46 stepped in and got results. Cranial Technologies of Charlotte offered to give the family the $4000 device for free. 

United Healthcare said the family's plan specifically excluded coverage of the device. However, Kern says his employer offered no plans that did cover it. United Healthcare ignored questions about how or when employees can add coverage of the device. 

"Somebody recommended I contact you guys because you guys are known for getting things done," said Brooks. "And you've definitely proven that."

"Thank you so much FOX 46," echoed Kern. "We definitely would not have been able to do this without your help."

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