|Posted:||December 3, 2018 02:28 PM|
|From:||Representative Kathy L. Rapp|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Insurance Coverage for Lyme Disease (Former House Bill 174)|
|I will be introducing legislation in the near future (former House Bill 174) that will ensure patients have access to available and emerging diagnostics and treatment options for Lyme disease and related tick-borne diseases.
In the last six years, Pennsylvania has ranked highest in the country in the number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease. In 2016 Pennsylvania reported 12,200 cases of Lyme disease, which translates to 122,000 new cases and about 40 percent of the nation’s cases in Pennsylvania alone.
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 passed the House last session by a vote of 188-6.
Please join me in cosponsoring this important legislation.
Introduced as HB629