THIS WEEK AT THE RHODE ISLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Excerpt from Article:
Vella-Wilkinson bill would mandate coverage for Lyme, uterine fibroids
The House Committee on Corporations heard testimony this week on legislation introduced by Rep. Camille F.J. Vella-Wilkinson (D-Dist. 21, Warwick) that would provide health care coverage for treatments for Lyme disease and uterine fibroids.
The first bill (2021-H 5897) would require insurers to provide coverage for any prescription drug treatment for Lyme disease. The second bill (2021-H 5898) provides health care coverage for laparoscopic removal of uterine fibroids, including intraoperative ultrasound guidance and monitoring and radiofrequency ablation.
“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.” Source