Families Fighting Insurance Get House Bill Reintroduced

TOPEKA, Kan. - For some families, costly nutritional formulas are all that keep their children alive. These children have gastrointestinal disease that makes them unable to eat "normal" food. They have to live off formula, but some insurance companies say they won't pay for certain formulas.

13 News brought you the story of Jessica Seidel, who suffers from Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis. She spoke at the Kansas Statehouse and in Washington, D.C. with Nancy Boyda about the importance of getting formulas covered. For her family, they were able to get their insurance to pay for the formula after many appeals and, according to Jessica's mom Leslie, "financial and emotional stress."

Porscha Waggle is still going through that stress. Her son Christian also suffers from a rare gastrointestinal disease; his body can't break down proteins. His formula, EleCare, costs about $18,000 a year. Insurance won't cover it because their policies exclude food, which is what they consider this type of nutritional supplement.

HB 2344 would make insurance companies cover the cost. Bill Sneed represented America's Health Insurance Plans, a group that represents insurance companies throughout the country, at Thursday's meeting.

Sneed said AHIP's stance is that the state should be responsible for covering costs like these. He spoke on behalf of the group asking the committee not to move forward with HB 2344, but instead requested they push forward with efforts that would allow the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to foot the bill.

House Committee Members
Health and Human Services
R - Scott Schwab - Member
R - Lana Gordon - Member
R - Clark Shultz - Member
R - Don Schroeder - Member
R - Peggy L. Mast - Member
R - Dave Crum - Vice-Chair
D - Ed Trimmer - Member
D - Gail Finney - Member
D - Jim Ward - Member
R - Bill Otto - Member
R - Brenda Landwehr - Chair
R - Phil L. Hermanson - Member
D - Geraldine Flaharty - *R.M. Member
R - Jim Morrison - Member
R - Arlen H. Siegfreid - Member
R - Jill Quigley - Member
D - Cindy Neighbor - Member
D - Dolores Furtado - Member
D - Mike Slattery - Member

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