ALTON, Ill. – Legislation sponsored by state Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Alton, known as “Marlie’s Bill” was signed into law on Wednesday, which requires insurance coverage for life-saving lung and heart activity monitors for children.
“Families should not be forced to put their child’s life at risk because of financial costs. Marlie’s Law helps give families peace of mind when they are making important decisions for their child’s health and ensures that critical monitors are covered by insurance companies,” said Bristow. “The life of a child is too precious. As a mother and a grandmother, I will continue to work for families to have access to affordable health care, and Marlie’s Law was a bipartisan effort to help that cause.”
Marlie’s Law was brought to Bristow’s attention by Mary Cope of Wood River. Cope’s granddaughter, Marlie, was a few months old when she had an episode of apnea in 2016 where she stopped breathing. She was revived by a first responder and taken to the hospital. When she was released from the hospital, the family requested a monitor, but were told the cost was too high. Soon after, Marlie had another apena episode where she stopped breathing. Her mother was unable to reach her in time and she could not be revived. The Bristow sponsored House Bill 3471, Marlie’s Law, would require insurance companies and Medicaid to cover heart and lung activity monitors for anyone 18 and under.
“A family should not have to base a decision that could affect the life of their child on whether they can afford the treatment, and Marlie’s Law is about making sure that a lifesaving device is accessible and affordable,” said Cope. “I am happy that legislators were able see that this bill is about saving lives and ensuring that another family does not have to suffer the same heartache that we have. We want to thank Rep. Bristow for her work in protecting the lives of children.”
“I am very grateful for the bravery of Marlie’s family in sharing their story and helping this become law in the state of Illinois, so that no family has to go through this again,” said Bristow. “This legislation will help save children’s lives and ensure that parents and family members have access to the proper equipment each time that is required for the health and safety of a child.”