Brooks, Mastriano propose Lyme Disease legislation

HARRISBURG – State Senator Michele Brooks (R-50) is partnering with Senator Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33) in introducing legislation necessitating insurance coverage for Lyme disease treatment.

The pair circulated a co-sponsorship memo December 1st seeking support for the measure, which would ensure antibiotic treatment is available via insurance.

“Lyme disease is curable and preventable, and Pennsylvania needs to be more aggressive in diagnosis, treatment, education and prevention to give individuals the ability to overcome this disease and not be debilitated for the rest of their life,” said Senator Brooks. 

The legislation was previously Senate Bill 100 of the 2019-2020 legislative session.Left untreated or improperly treated, Lyme disease can lead to debilitating symptoms, which include fevers, rash, facial paralysis, arthritis, swollen lymph nodes, muscle and joint aches, severe headaches, irregular heartbeat, memory loss and nerve pain. 

Under the proposed legislation, health insurers would be required to cover the treatment prescribed by their health care practitioner for Lyme disease or related tick-borne illnesses, if the diagnosis and treatment plan are documented in the patient’s medical record.

“Pennsylvania leads the nation in Lyme disease cases – I would like to reverse that trend,” said Mastriano. “It is absolutely critical to address the increasing rates of Lyme disease, and halt the momentum of this illness.”

Treatment plans may include short or longer durations of antibiotic or antimicrobial treatments. Longer-term antibiotic treatment shall not be denied coverage solely because such treatment may be characterized as unproven, experimental, or investigational in nature for the treatment of Lyme and related tick-borne diseases.

“It is important as a General Assembly to do our part in combatting this devastating illness that has adversely impacted thousands of statewide residents,” said Mastriano.

 

Contact:           Diane McNaughton     (717) 787-1322     dmmcnaughton@pasen.gov