Albany, N.Y. – (5/1/2013) – Senator Greg Ball (R,C,I-Patterson) today announced that the New York State Senate has unanimously passed Hannah’s Law S2287. 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 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.
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 and was never voted on. This year the bill has unanimously passed the Senate and once again awaits Assembly action.
Senator Ball is proud to have passed the bill again in the Senate but is now urging residents to contact their Assembly members.
“Hannah is the cutest and toughest little girl I know. Passing this bill again in the Senate brings New York State one step closer to ensuring that thousands of families are never again victimized by the system, like the Devane family. I am urging residents to contact their Assembly representative and let them know how important this bill is for children throughout New York State that suffer from eosinophilic esophagitis,” said Senator Ball. “I thank Assemblywoman Paulin for sponsoring this bill and I hope my colleagues in the Assembly will do the right thing and pass this bill to protect families like the Devanes.”
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.
Hannah’s medical insurance provider already provides coverage for the cost of enteral formulas, but only under conditions that require tube feeding, an 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 to use a feeding tube.
“I can’t thank Senator Greg Ball and his staff enough for the work they are doing on behalf of my daughter. We are very happy that the Senate has now acted two years in a row to pass this bill for my daughter and for all the EoS families in New York State,” said Jessie Devane. “I am urging members of the Assembly to follow the Senate’s lead in passing this bill. This legislation will give parents the peace of mind of knowing they can take care of their children without a financial burden.”
“Hannah’s Law” is currently being sponsored in the New York State Assembly by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin.
“This legislation is critical because it will mean 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. “ I thank Senator Ball for continuing his work to get this bill passed again in the Senate. I urge my fellow colleagues in the Assembly for their support to help those children whose families cannot afford the out-of-pocket cost of oral formula to finally have access to it.”
For more information, please contact Joe Bachmeier at (845) 200 9716.