NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A new bill in Albany aims to cut red tape for parents seeking early developmental care for young children.
That legislation has passed, but it’s still sitting on Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s desk, unsigned.READ MORE: NYPD: 2 Gunman Wanted After 10 Shot Outside Queens Laundromat
When 2-year-old Madison was about 11 months old, she still wasn’t crawling.
“When she started showing delays, we immediately sought out early intervention,” parent Andrea Gold told CBS2’s Nick Caloway.
Now, Madison does physical therapy at Los Niños Services in Hawthorne to work on her gross motor skills. She’s lucky. Many kids end up on long wait lists.
“She’s made so much progress, and it’s been so amazing for her development,” Gold said.
Three-year-old Kai started coming to Los Niños two years ago for physical, occupational and speech therapy.
“He’s a completely different child from now [than] when he started,” parent Jennifer Santiago said.
That early intervention aims to catch kids up at a young age, but many services like this are buried in red tape, fighting with insurance companies about what’s covered and what’s not, forcing many out of the profession altogether.READ MORE: COVID In New York: Mask Mandates Not Being Re-Imposed Just Yet As Concern Grows Over Delta Variant
“Many of our colleagues that had small businesses, they have been forced to close,” said Edita Diaz, president of Los Niños Services.
Lawmakers and advocates gathered Thursday in White Plains, asking the governor to sign a recently passed bill that would essentially tax health insurance providers $40 million a year to cover more early intervention claims and shift costs from counties and municipalities onto insurance companies.
State Assemblymember Amy Paulin sponsored the bill.
“The providers will stay in business, it’ll eliminate the wait list for children, and most importantly, young children will get the services they need in a timely way,” she said.
But the bill is still sitting on Cuomo’s desk.
CBS2 reached out to the governor’s office to find out if he plans to sign. So far, no word back.
The New York Health Plan Association, which represents insurance providers, opposes that legislation, saying it will increase premiums. The group has asked Cuomo to veto.
The sponsor of the bill said the average cost to consumers could be as low as $1-2 a year.MORE NEWS: NYPD: 3 Shot In Washington Heights, No Arrests
CBS2’s Nick Caloway contributed to this report.