Senate Banking Approves Bill Related to Insurance for Enzymatic Disorders

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The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee has approved a bill that would provide for mandatory insurance coverage for inherited enzymatic disorders.

The bill, SB 526, provides a list of the diagnosed conditions for which insurance coverage should extend.

A fiscal note from PEIA shows the estimated cost to the organization would be $145,800, and a fiscal note from the DHHR shows a fiscal impact of $1,028,568 to the state.

The committee requested that the DHHR refresh their fiscal note, since it was found to be inaccurate after committee proceedings.

DHHR Deputy Secretary Jeremiah Samples was also available to answer questions from committee members.

Kaycee Childress of the national Children’s Medical Nutrition Alliance said the bill would specifically help low income families that normally cannot afford insurance policies to cover their children’s rare diseases.

Childress said 20 other states currently have similar mandates in their laws.

She also said most commercial insurance companies believe the bill is a “slippery slope,” since certain prescribed medical foods fall under coverage of the bill, instead of strictly medications.

Director of PEIA Ted Cheatham was present to answer questions from members of the committee.

Committee counsel also suggested a few mandates to bring clarity to certain provisions in the bill, which will be added to the bll as a single amendment which will then be incorporated into a committee substitute.

The bill will be referred to Senate Finance once reported to the floor.