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Kauffman Supports Bill to Require Insurance Coverage of Lyme Disease Treatment
6/17/2016
HARRISBURG – With cases of Lyme disease on the rise, Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin) has recently co-sponsored legislation that would ensure insurance providers cover available and emerging diagnostics and treatment options for Lyme disease and related tick-borne diseases.

“Franklin County has had a substantial number of individuals test positive for Lyme disease, and with Lyme and other tick-borne diseases on the rise, I am supporting legislation that would make sure patients have access to treatments,” said Kauffman. “Because these diseases impact the health of patients in unique and various ways, treatment plans can vary greatly from one person to the next, which means health care providers need to have the flexibility to treat patients using a wide range of options.”

The new legislation would require health insurers to cover treatment plans for Lyme disease or related tick-borne illnesses as prescribed by a patient’s health care practitioner, regardless if the treatment plan includes short-term or long-term antibiotic treatment.

“There is still much we do not know or understand about Lyme disease, but with the direct impact on the health of so many Pennsylvanians, the Legislature has been working on increasing awareness, education and prevention efforts,” said Kauffman. “Just last session, we passed and had signed into law, the Lyme and Related Tick-Borne Disease Surveillance Education, Prevention and Treatment Act. Under the new law, the Pennsylvania Department of Health was directed to establish a task force to address the issues surrounding Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections. The task force report was released by the Department of Health on Oct. 15, 2015. Although this was a great step forward, I recognize this is only the first of many steps we need to take as a state in order to address this very real health crisis.”

Kauffman noted that over the last five years, Pennsylvania has ranked the highest in the nation in confirmed cases of Lyme disease. In 2015, the Commonwealth reported 10,817 new cases of Lyme disease. Furthermore, last year the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection released a study confirming a high risk of Lyme in every county of the Commonwealth.

“We can and should do more to help those impacted by tick-borne diseases,” said Kauffman. “This legislation is needed to make sure patients have access to the treatment options that will best help them. I am hopeful this legislation will have wide bipartisan support and work its way through the legislative process quickly and be signed into law.”

For more information on Lyme disease and other tick-borne illness, including information on current treatment guidelines, prevention tips and fact sheets, visit Kauffman’s website at RepKauffman.com.

Representative Rob Kauffman
89th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Tricia Lehman
717.772.9840
tlehman@pahousegop.com
RepKauffman.com

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