A Pennsylvania Farm Bureau-supported bill that would expand insurance coverage of various treatment options for Lyme disease and similar tick-borne illnesses has cleared its first hurdle in the General Assembly.
House Bill 1033, sponsored by Rep. Kathy Rapp of Warren County, cleared the House Health Committee with a 14-11 vote. The bill now heads to the full House for consideration.
The bill would require health insurance plans to cover longer courses of treatment for Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses if prescribed by a patient’s health care provider. PFB believes that given the difficulty in detecting and treating Lyme disease, insurance plans should cover the treatment that health care professionals believe will be most effective, even if that means a long-term regiment of antibiotics.
Pennsylvania has the highest reported cases of Lyme disease in the nation and farmers are especially susceptible as they spend lot of time outdoors in areas where there are likely to be ticks.