Bill Inspired By 8 Year Old Yorktown Girl
Albany, N.Y. – (10/22/13) – Senator Greg Ball (R,C,I-Patterson) has announced that Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed Hannah’s Law. The legislation is named after Yorktown resident, Hannah Devane. Hannah is an eight year old girl who suffers from eosinophilic esophagitis, a potentially fatal condition that makes it impossible for her to eat most foods.
Hannah’s medical insurance provider already provides coverage for the cost of enteral formulas, but only under conditions that require tube feeding, and extremely evasive, life-altering procedure. Currently the insurance companies are making parents decide between incurring the significant out-of-pocket costs for the enteral formula needed, or forcing their children use a feeding tube.
“I am ecstatic that after a 5 years struggle this bill has been signed into law. I would like to thank Governor Cuomo for his support as well as Assemblywomen Paulin for carrying this bill in the Assembly. Most of all I would like to thank the Devane family for continuing to fight with me to pass this bill,” said Senator Greg Ball. “Hannah is the cutest and toughest little girl I know and is an outstanding, giving member of our community. Thanks to this new law we have ensured that thousands of families are never again victimized by the system, like the Devane family.”
“Today marks a new chapter in our life, words can’t describe how happy we are as a family. I have worked tirelessly with the support of Senator Greg Ball to pass Hannah’s Law so that we can make it easier on these families, as well as my own,” said Jessie Devane, Hannah’s mother. “This law will do so much good for so many families, giving them the opportunity to take care of their children without the financial burden. I can’t thank Senator Ball and his staff enough for the tireless work they have done on behalf of my daughter and for all the EoS families in New York State. I would also like to extend my sincere appreciation to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Assemblywomen Amy Paulin and all the countless others that believed in Hannah’s Law.”
Hannah’s Law will amend the insurance law and require certain health insurance policies to include coverage for the cost of enteral formulas for the treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis and related eosinophilic disorders.
Children with eosinophilic esophagitis and similar disorders can only obtain nourishment from special, enteral formulas, which in some cases may be ingested orally, but in other circumstances must be administered via a feeding tube. In the case of Hannah, the life sustaining formula can be taken orally and comes with a cost of approximately $1,200 per month, or $14,400 annually.
Senator Greg Ball first introduced Hannah’s Law when he was an Assemblyman in May of 2008. After a four year struggle the bill was finally taken up for a vote in the New York State Senate on May of 2012 and successfully passed. However, the bill failed to make it out of the Assembly Insurance Committee. This year the bill has finally passed both the Senate and Assembly and now awaits the Governor’s signature.
Hannah’s Law was sponsored in the New York State Assembly by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale).
“This legislation is critical because it means that children with eosinophilic esophogitis will no longer have to use an invasive feeding tube simply because that is the only method their insurance company covers,” said Assemblywoman Amy Paulin. “Now, children whose families cannot afford the out-of-pocket cost of oral formula will finally have access to it.”
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