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YORKTOWN, N.Y. – A new chapter for Hannah Devane began Tuesday, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law named after the Yorktown 8-year-old.

Devane’s mother, Jessie, has had to shell out $1,200 a month and $14,000 a year to pay for the life-saving formula Hannah needs because she suffers from a potentially fatal condition that prevents her from eating most foods, called eosinophilic esophagitis.

The new law will require certain health insurance policies to cover the cost of the formula she needs – enteral formulas – for the treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis, and other eosinophilic disorders. The Devane family’s health insurance provider already covered the cost of enteral formulas, but only if was ingested through tube feeding.

“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,” said Jessie, who is a nurse.

This law will save the Devane family money because Hannah is able to ingest the formula orally. However, some who suffer from esophagitis and similar disorders cannot, requiring the formula to be administered through a feeding tube.

Sen. Greg Ball, who first introduced Hannah’s Law in 2008 as a member of the State Assembly, said that the insurance companies had been making parents decide between forcing their children to use a feeding tube and incurring significant out-of-pocket costs.

“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.”

The law passed the State Senate in 2012, but failed to make it out of the Assembly insurance committee. This year, is passed both the Senate and Assembly. Tuesday, Cuomo signed the bill into law.

“I am ecstatic that after a five year struggle this bill has been signed into law,” Ball said in a statement.“I would like to thank Governor Cuomo for his support as well as Assemblywoman 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.” (ARTICLE)

About Greg Ball

Assemblyman Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) is the Senator for New York State's 40th district. A former Vice President of Exceed International Development Corporation, Ball holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the United States Air Force Academy, is currently completing his Masters Thesis of Liberal Studies in International Affairs at Georgetown University, and received an honorable discharge in 2005 at the rank of Captain after service as an active duty officer in the United States Air Force. View all posts by Greg Ball →
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