FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Joe Bachmeier, (845) 200-9716
AFTER 5 YEAR STRUGGLE SENATOR BALL PASSES HANNAH’S LAW IN BOTH HOUSES, HEADS FOR GOVERNOR’S DESK
Bill Inspired By 8 Year Old Yorktown Girl To Become Law
Albany, N.Y. – (6/19/13) – Senator Greg Ball (R,C,I-Patterson) announce that Hannah’s Law, S2287A, has passed through both the New York State Senate and Assembly and now awaits the Governor’s signature. 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.
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, 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.
“Hannah is the cutest and toughest little girl I know and is an outstanding, giving member of our community,” said Senator Greg Ball. “Today will go down as a highlight in my career. After years of working on this legislation, we have finally passed it to ensure that thousands of families are never again victimized by the system, like the Devane family.”
“Words can’t describe how happy I am that this bill has finally passed through both houses. 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,” said Jessie Devane, Hannah’s mother. “This law will give our family the peace of mind that we can now take care of Hannah without the financial burden.”
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. “ I thank Senator Ball for work in passing this legislation. I am very happy that my colleagues in the Assembly have voted 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: (845) 200-9716.