|Posted:||December 13, 2016 02:31 PM|
|From:||Representative Matthew E. Baker|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Insurance Coverage for Lyme Disease|
In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation (former HB 2242) that will ensure patients have access to available and emerging diagnostics and treatment options for Lyme disease and related tick-borne diseases.
Over the last five years, Pennsylvania has ranked highest in the nation in confirmed cases of Lyme disease. From 2002 to 2014, Pennsylvania reported a total of 59,478 confirmed cases of Lyme disease and in 2015 reported 10,817 new cases. Furthermore, last year the PA Department of Environmental Protection released a study confirming a high risk of Lyme in every county of the Commonwealth.
The Lyme & Related Tick Borne Disease Surveillance Education, Prevention & Treatment Act was signed into law as Act 83 of 2014. Under Act 83, the PA Department of Health was directed to establish a task force to address the issues surrounding Lyme disease and other tick borne infections. The task force report was released by the Department of Health on October 15, 2015. While Act 83 is a major achievement in Pennsylvania, it is only the first step to addressing the health care needs of individuals struggling with Lyme disease.
My legislation will require health insurers to cover treatment plans for Lyme disease or related tick-borne illnesses as prescribed by a patient’s health care practitioner, regardless if the treatment plan includes short-term or long-term antibiotic treatment. This legislation is substantially similar to legislation introduced by Senator Greenleaf.
Please join me in cosponsoring this important legislation
Introduced as HB174