Several families joined forces today in Johnson City to fight for new legislation.
The Katie Beckett Bill would help parents with disabled children pay for medical expenses not covered by TennCare or private insurance.
Several state representatives showed their support. Tennessee State Representatives Matthew and Timothy Hill were at the Katie Beckett Bill Informational Gathering Saturday at Cokesbury Church.
Tennessee is the only state in the country without this type of program says Mallorie Hatcher, a mom of two who has a son with sever medical issues.
Nolan has a micro-duplication on his 17th chromosome. Hatcher says that he has a lot of medical needs, some not payed for by insurance,
“With us we only have private employer insurance because there’s no form of a medicate waver available in Tennessee. It’s very limiting to what it covers for your child if they have complex medical needs.”
Some of those needs not covered can be medical equipment, therapy services, and nutrition through feeding tubes.
Representative Matthew Hill is helping to lead the charge, showing his support to families.
“I wanted to show my support for the families that are advocating for the Katie Beckett legislation. They’ve been to my office in Nashville and this is my home.”
He says that the next step is for the legislation to go to the Federal Government and to submit a waiver. If it’s approved it would set up a Part A and Part B plan. Par A would be for children needing twenty-four hour care and would be administered through TennCare. Part B would be for children with cases needing occupational or physical therapy and would be administered by the Department of Intellectual Developmental Disability.
Hatcher is hoping that more state law makers can get on board.
“Our representatives and our senators, you know they work for us and ultimately they want to hear from us and it makes a difference when we share our stories with them. You know, I always wonder why somebody doesn’t do something about that, and then I realized I was somebody,” she says.
Representative Matthew Hill said that it would cost around 29 million dollars annually to fund this legislation.