THE PATCH: 7-YEAR-OLD YORKTOWN GIRL INSPIRES ‘HANNAH’S LAW’

By Plamena Pesheva

A 7-year-old Yorktown girl has inspired politicians to fight for passing a legislature that will amend the insurance law and require certain health insurance policies to include coverage for the cost of enteral formulas for the treatment of a potentially fatal condition.

‘Hannah’s Law’ was recently passed with the help of Senator Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson).

The little girl, Hannah Devane, suffers from eosinophilic esophagitis which is a potentially fatal condition that makes it impossible for her to eat most foods.

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 Hannah’s case, the life sustaining formula can be taken orally and comes with a cost of approximately $1,200 per month, or $14,400 annually.

Her 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, Ball said.

“Hannah is the cutest and toughest little girl I know and is an outstanding, giving member of our community,” he said. “Hannah has volunteered at events like my ‘Veterans Thanksgiving Dinner’ and is an impressive little girl. Passing this bill 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.”

‘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 ofeosinophilic esophagitis and related eosinophilic disorders.

Hannah’s mother, Jessica Devane, said she was happy people saw how important the issue was and passed the bill.

“We are grateful and beyond words for this legislation to finally start moving,” Devane said. “This bill 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 by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and is in Assembly Insurance Committee.

“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,” Paulin said. “It will allow children whose families cannot afford the out-of-pocket cost of oral formula to finally have access to it.” (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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