Bill S5979-2013

Requires mandatory health insurance coverage for tracking devices for children with developmental disabilities

Requires mandatory health insurance coverage for tracking devices to be used on children with developmental disabilities.

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  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO INSURANCE
  • Nov 6, 2013: REFERRED TO RULES

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5979

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the insurance law, in relation to mandatory health insurance coverage for tracking devices for children with developmental disabilities

PURPOSE:

To help prevent death and serious injury as a result of wandering, many parents have armed their autistic children with tracking devices, such as LoJack or Project Lifesaver. These tracking devices ensure that if a child does wander that they can be found quickly and safely Unfortunately, many parents are unable to obtain these tracking devices because of the expense to purchase and maintain the equipment.

This legislation will provide parents and caregivers of autistic children the option of utilizing a tracking device and requiring insurance companies to cover the costs for the equipment and monitoring services.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1 amends subsection (i) of section 3216 of the insurance law to add a new paragraph 30.

Section 2 amends subsection (l) of section 3221 of the insurance law to add a new paragraph 19

Section 3 amends section 4303 of the insurance law to add a new subsection (oo).

Section 4 is the effective date

JUSTIFICATION:

The inclination of children on the autism spectrum to wander off impulsively is a critical safety issue for parents and caregivers. In New York City this past month we witnessed a nonverbal autistic child, Avonte Oquendo, wander from his school; an ongoing case that has garnered national attention.

In 2012, the Interactive Autism Network (IAN - ianproject.org), the nation's largest online autism research project, released the results of the first major survey on wandering and elopement among individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

The wandering and elopement survey found that approximately 50% of parents of children with autism report that their child has eloped at least once Among the families reporting at least one instance of elopement, nearly 50% say that their child went missing long enough to cause significant concern about safety. Of those who have gone missing, nearly 25% were in danger of drowning and 65% were in danger of a traffic-related injury, according to the findings which were published in the journal Pediatrics.

In discussing the study at the time of its release, Dr Paul Law, author of the study and director of medical informatics at the Kennedy

Krieger Institute, observed that elopement is one of the most important issues related to autism that had not been addressed much at all prior to this study.. In fact, according to the study, it is very common and a problem that puts children with ASD at greatest risk for an early death.

With the Centers for Disease Control now estimating that 1 in 88 children in the U.S.has been diagnosed with ASD, experts say there is a pressing need for devising clear best practices for managing "elopement."

To quote Dr. Law's conclusions based on the study of elopement: "On the broadest scale, it means we as a nation need to get a system organized so that when children do elope, and when parents call to report it, there's an immediate response. The likelihood of them having a very bad outcome is dramatically increased the longer it takes to recover a child in a safe place."

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New Bill

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

To be determined

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5979 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE November 6, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. SAVINO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules AN ACT to amend the insurance law, in relation to mandatory health insurance coverage for tracking devices for children with develop- mental disabilities THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subsection (i) of section 3216 of the insurance law is amended by adding a new paragraph 30 to read as follows: (30) EVERY POLICY WHICH PROVIDES MEDICAL, MAJOR MEDICAL, OR SIMILAR COMPREHENSIVE TYPE COVERAGE SHALL INCLUDE COVERAGE FOR GPS TRACKING DEVICES TO BE USED ON CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, PROVIDED THAT THE TREATING PHYSICIAN OR OTHER LICENSED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER ISSUES A WRITTEN ORDER STATING SUCH DEVICE IS NECESSARY FOR THE CHILD'S WELFARE. S 2. Subsection (l) of section 3221 of the insurance law is amended by adding a new paragraph 19 to read as follows: (19) EVERY POLICY WHICH PROVIDES MEDICAL, MAJOR MEDICAL, OR SIMILAR COMPREHENSIVE TYPE COVERAGE SHALL INCLUDE COVERAGE FOR GPS TRACKING DEVICES TO BE USED ON CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, PROVIDED THAT THE TREATING PHYSICIAN OR OTHER LICENSED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER ISSUES A WRITTEN ORDER STATING SUCH DEVICE IS NECESSARY FOR THE CHILD'S WELFARE. S 3. Section 4303 of the insurance law is amended by adding a new subsection (oo) to read as follows: (OO) EVERY POLICY WHICH PROVIDES MEDICAL, MAJOR MEDICAL, OR SIMILAR COMPREHENSIVE TYPE COVERAGE SHALL INCLUDE COVERAGE FOR GPS TRACKING DEVICES TO BE USED ON CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, PROVIDED THAT THE TREATING PHYSICIAN OR OTHER LICENSED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER ISSUES A WRITTEN ORDER STATING SUCH DEVICE IS NECESSARY FOR THE CHILD'S WELFARE. S 4. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law and shall apply to policies and contracts issued, renewed, modified, altered or amended on or after such effective date.

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