Pennsylvania Lyme insurance bill passes Senate, moves on to House
PA Lyme Resource Network reports there has been progress on Senate Bill 1188. The legislation requires insurance coverage for long-term treatment of Lyme disease, along with other measures intended to combat tick-borne disease through education and research.
SB 1188 unanimously passed the full Senate floor vote (49-0). It now moves to the House for consideration.
According to State Senator Michele Brooks, the bill’s sponsor: “Senate Bill 1188 seeks to combat the long-term effects of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases by promoting education and awareness among health care professionals, providing coverage for diagnostic testing and treatment, and improving public awareness about tick bite prevention practices that can reduce the incidence and prevalence of ticks in this Commonwealth.”
Additionally, the legislation requires the Department of Health to work with the Tick Research Lab of Pennsylvania at East Stroudsburg University to develop an electronic database for use by the lab, the department, and health care professionals.
The database would include non-identifiable patient information, including tick testing information, results, and zip code and county location of ticks tested at the Tick Lab; diagnostic testing information and results; and the surveillance criteria applied to determine the confirmed or suspected patient diagnosis from the attending health care professional.
“Telling people to wear socks is not enough”
“We have spent millions of taxpayer funds on the prevention of Lyme disease and other related illnesses through the Department of Health,” Brooks said.
“Telling people to wear socks and white clothing in the woods is not enough. It’s time we do more. We need to support tick testing, research, and most of all, the treatments needed to help people who are suffering.”
PA Lyme has developed online materials to help people learn more about this bill and what it means for Lyme patients in Pennsylvania.
Inside the packet you’ll find:
- A discussion highlighting the core issues
- Clarification of common misconceptions about Lyme disease
- Factual, referenced information that illuminates the plight facing Pennsylvanians affected by Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.
You can also watch a recording of PA Lyme Resource Network’s recent online event with Senator Brooks.