named after Yorktown's 8-year-old Hannah Devane, is now in effect in New York state after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed "Hannah’s Law" this week.A new law,
Devane, who had inspired politicians to fight for passing the legislature that will amend the insurance law, suffers from eosinophilic esophagitis. It is a potentially fatal condition that makes it impossible for her to eat most foods.
She 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 – something the insurance company had refused to cover. Until now.
"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.
"I am ecstatic that after a 5-year struggle this bill has been signed into law," Ball said in a statement. "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."
In 2008, Senator Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson) first introduced Hannah’s Law when he was an assemblyman. The bill was taken up for a vote in the New York State Senate in May 2012 and at the Assembly in 2013 and successfully passed.
Hannah's mother Jessie previously told Patch that although the passage of the bill will not affect her family's insurance coverage – they have a self-insured policy – she and her family are thrilled that this is going to help other families in the state.
"Words can’t describe how happy we are as a family," she said. "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."