NASHVILLE — State Senator Paul Bailey (R-Sparta) has filed legislation in the Tennessee General Assembly calling for insurance companies to pay for a heart rate monitor for a baby at risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) when it prescribed by a licensed physician. Senate Bill 35 was filed as the General Assembly wrapped up its first legislative week in Nashville.
“This legislation would provide health insurance coverage for the monitor when a doctor prescribes it, which is a tremendous help to families with an infant who needs monitoring, but without insurance coverage cannot afford it,” said Senator Bailey. “Tennessee has a high infant mortality rate. We believe that having this coverage will help save lives.”
SIDS is a medical disorder that claims the lives of thousands of young children one week to one year of age. Over 1,000 infants have died from SIDS in the past ten years in Tennessee.
The legislation comes after a constituent in Bailey’s senatorial district had an infant die of SIDS which raised awareness for the condition. “We want to do everything possible to keep families from experiencing the heartache that this family has gone through,” Bailey added.
Under the bill, the insurer may require suitable documentation showing the need for a breathing and heart rate monitor. If passed, it would become effective on January 1, 2018.
“More children die of SIDS in a year than all children who die of cancer, heart disease, pneumonia, child abuse, AIDS, cystic fibrosis, and muscular dystrophy combined,” added Bailey. “I am hopeful that this legislation will pass and that we can prevent such tragedies from occurring.”