Lyme disease legislation

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA)– Health insurance companies will soon have to cover something else in Illinois. The governor continues to highlight some of the 150 bills he signed Friday.

We told about a new law requiring insurance coverage for epipens.
Tuesday, the governor featured another health concern insurers in Illinois have to cover.

Under this new law, people with Lyme disease will receive more health insurance coverage for their treatments.

The bill signed along with the epipen bill in a ceremony requires companies to cover long-term antibiotic therapy for people with tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease. According to the CDC, 218 confirmed cases and 55 possible cases of Lyme disease were reported in Illinois in 2017. Black-legged or deer ticks carry the disease and be found in various areas around the state. Families with Lyme disease say many insurers only cover 21 days of treatment but people with the disease need much more.

“If they have been undiagnosed for any length of time like Lauryn was treatment is more complex, she was undiagnosed for three years. Many are losing their homes, their businesses and pensions to try to pay for their continued treatments and this legislation provides them with desperately needed options,” said Jennifer Russell, Spotlight on Lyme QCA director. Her daughter Lauryn has the disease.

The CDC estimates 20 to 30 thousand cases of Lyme disease are reported every year.

Insurance coverage for Lyme disease takes effect immediately. While coverage for the epipens go into effect on January 1st.

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