Bill Covering Exam, Medication Costs for Survivors of Sexual Assault Now in Effect
Legislation increasing the amount that can be disbursed from the Sexual Assault Examination Fund for certain fees and medical costs following a sexual assault took effect Wednesday.
House Bill 2236 better assists survivors of sexual assault with the costs related to medical care. It increases the amount that can be reimbursed for sexual assault examination fees from $450 to $800 and increases the monetary cap for medications related to the sexual assault from $50 to $100 per case.
"The previous reimbursement cap is simply no longer sufficient to adequately cover today's cost of the examination and medication," said Rep. Jeff Boatman, R-Tulsa, who authored the bill. "I hope this increased cap allows our Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners the peace of mind to focus fully on their patient and gather the critical evidence needed for prosecution of the perpetrator, rather than worrying about fitting costs into the statutorily allowed limits. I'm thankful for the unanimous support of this important bill, as well as the assistance we received from the District Attorneys Council, who were instrumental in making this legislation possible."
HB2236 was authored in the Senate by Minority Leader Sen. Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City.
The bill also establishes the position of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Statewide Coordinator under the District Attorneys Council (DAC), which Boatman said is critical to ensuring SANE care is available to victims across our state while optimizing the use of resource to manage costs.
"The need for SANE nurses statewide is essential for providing quality care and assistance for sexual assault survivors," said Floyd. "By establishing a coordinator position, logistical issues such as training, recruitment and resources for SANE nurses can be prioritized and scaled to provide greater coverage and accessibility to survivors throughout our state."
The measure, which passed both chambers unanimously, took effect on Nov. 1.