Frockt’s health care bill signed into law

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A bill that Democratic State Sen. David Frockt sponsored to protect children with a rare gastrointestinal disorder was signed into law in early May.

The new law would move the Department of Health towards mandating that insurance companies cover the elemental formula necessary to feed children who suffer from a rare gastrointestinal disorder called eosinophilia.

Eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders are very rare. Those who suffer from the disorder are unable to breakdown proteins, meaning they must take proteins through a special elemental formula. If the treatment must be delivered through an invasive feeding tube, the expensive formula is generally covered by insurance. However, if the patient is able to swallow the formula, many private insurers will not cover the cost.

The treatment costs about $1,200 per month and many families have difficulty covering the out-of-pocket cost for the treatment. Mandating insurance coverage would help those families afford life-saving treatment for their children.

The bill would require the state Department of Health to conduct a sunrise review on instituting a mandate that all insurance plans cover treatment for eosinophilia regardless of delivery method. The department would examine the impact on insurance plans and report back to the Legislature no later than 30 days prior to the 2014 legislative session and the Legislature would take appropriate action.

Frockt thanked the father of a child with the condition for bringing the problem to his attention.


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