TOUCHED BY LYME: Insurance coverage for Lyme? That’s a horse of a different color.
Veterinary insurance policies don’t put a 28-day limit on treating equine Lyme disease.
My jaw dropped and my heart beat faster when I first saw the following headline: “Lyme disease—covered under major medical health insurance plan.”
I quickly scanned the article: tick season longer than usual this year…ticks can transmit serious diseases…It’s important to do daily, routine checks for ticks, especially around the throatlatch area and under the tail…HUH? Then I realized the article was about Lyme in horses!
Here’s more of what it said:
The most common symptoms of Lyme disease are lameness and behavioral changes which often makes the illness difficult to spot. Fever may or may not be present. Diagnosis in horses is known to be difficult. However, if diagnosed with this disease, your veterinarian will prescribe treatment with antibiotics and may include anti-inflammatory drugs.
Ehrlichia or anaplasmosis caused by tick-borne rickattsial parasites is another disease to be mindful of. Symptoms include fever, depression, mild limb edema and ataxia. This condition is also treated with antibiotics.
Then came the most important point, in my view:
Health insurance for your horse is available and treatment for Lyme disease, ehrlichia and anaplasmosis can be covered under the Major Medical endorsement that can be added to an equine mortality insurance policy.
I called the 800 number and talked to the nice young lady who answered the phone. Is there a limit on the number of days of treatment a horse can get for Lyme disease? No, she said. It depends on the coverage you buy. For instance, you might have a policy that covers up to $10,000 worth of medical care. Or $15,000. Once that amount is reached, the policy won’t cover any more. But there is no arbitrary limit on the number of days a horse can be treated for Lyme disease.
I asked her if humans can sign up for the same kind of coverage as the horses. She chuckled, assuming I was joking. I wasn’t.
TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland, LymeDisease.org’s VP for Education and Outreach. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.