Rhode Island bill would require insurance coverage of Lyme treatment
A committee in the Rhode Island House of Representatives heard testimony this week on a Lyme disease insurance bill.
Introduced by Rep. Camille F.J. Vella-Wilkinson, the measure would require insurers to provide coverage for any prescription drug treatment for Lyme disease.
“Because the CDC states that Lyme disease can be treated with 30 days of antibiotics, the majority of insurance companies do not recognize chronic Lyme disease as a legitimate illness and will not pay for long-term treatment,” Representative Vella-Wilkinson told the committee.
“It is clear that we need effective, cost-effective and compassionate management of these patients to improve their outcomes even if we don’t know what to call the disease.”
Lyme disease imposes a significant economic burden, Rep. Vella-Wilkinson said.
“Patients with early Lyme disease incurred $3,798 total direct medical costs associated with it. With late or chronic Lyme disease, the total annual cost per person is about $25,000.”
PRESS RELEASE SOURCE: State of Rhode Island General Assembly