Imagine this: you become very ill, debilitating so. For a long time, no one knows what is wrong with you. Your doctor finally discovers it is Lyme disease, and it has progressed into chronic Lyme. Your life has been interrupted with the incapacitating side effects of this disease. Treatment is available and has been known to work for others, but your health insurance refuses to cover the treatment.
Patient advocates in Massachusetts have been working for years to get legislation that will mandate health care coverage for long-term Lyme disease treatment. This year, the state budget has a proposal attached that will require health insurers to cover long-term antibiotic therapy and other therapies for Chronic Lyme disease. Most insurance plans limit antibiotic coverage to a 28-day period, which causes issues for those needed prolonged treatment. The bill includes an 18-month mandate.
There are both sides to every coin. As reported by the Lockport Journal, the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans is skeptical of the benefit of long-term antibiotic treatment for chronic Lyme disease and is even skeptical of the existence of chronic Lyme disease. Patient advocates are arguing that the health care insurers simply don’t want to pay for it.
While the bill is controversial, those suffering from Chronic Lyme disease symptoms are hopeful.