MIDDLEFIELD >> In response to one mother’s request for help, proposed legislation requiring insurance companies to provide coverage for the costs for service dogs will be considered by lawmakers in Hartford.
The Insurance and Real Estate Committee will decide at noon on Tuesday whether to proceed with a public hearing on SB 234, assistance dog bill, proposed by Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dante Bartolomeo, D-Meriden.
“I’m the very first person to ask about that issue,” said Helmedach, pleased by the proposed legislation.
The item is on the committee’s agenda at noon on Tuesday to vote whether it will proceed to draft as a committee bill, according to Bartolomeo.
The legislation asks to amend general statutes to require insurance companies to provide coverage for the “cost of assistance dogs, including, but not limited to, guide dogs to assist blind, deaf or mobility impaired persons, for insureds with physical disabilities.”
“If a high-tech wheelchair is covered, you would have expected something like this would also be covered,” said Bartolomeo, who looked at other possible avenues for help but found none available to the Helmedachs and others like them.
“We were trying to see if there was something else we weren’t aware of,” said Bartolomeo. “All efforts came up empty.”
If the committee does agree to a public hearing, best-case scenario says the item could be scheduled as early as next week, Bartolomeo said. The committee may choose not move it at all.
If SB 234 gets a hearing, those interested may testify in person, or submit testimony via email email@example.com. Committee co-chairs are Sen. Joseph Crisco Joseph.firstname.lastname@example.org and Rep. Robert Megna Robert.email@example.com or visit www.cga.ct.gov/ins
In addition, Roslyn also suffers from postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, anxiety, chronic pain, and several other issues that come along with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, according to Lori Helmedach.
Roslyn falls frequently and sometimes uses a wheelchair. the Cochingcaug High School junior fear being alone since she can “pass out at any given time,” her mom said. A service dog would be life-changing for Roslyn, her mom said.
The family so far has raised more than $15,000 from local organizations and individual donors. The cost for the service dog is $35,000 - which includes a $10,000 emergency health care fund set aside for the dog.
To make a donation, visit www.gofundme.com/gakz3o
ABOUT THE AUTHORReporter for The Middletown Press. Reach the author at firstname.lastname@example.org