Every year since 2001 this bill or one very similar has been introduced and moved to the Insurance Committee where it has never left committee. Passage would make treatment for Chronic Lyme disease and other tick born diseases covered under health insurance and workers compensation. Chronic Lyme effects thousands of people every year. Only 10% of people with Lyme get treatment in the early stage where a short round of antibiotics will take care of it. The rest of us, such as my daughter and myself had no bulls eye rash and never even saw a tick. If not treated right away, the disease can lay dormant or appear to mimic many other diseases including chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, MS, ALS and many others. Testing is imperfect and many people will have negative results even though they have Lyme.
In fact Virginia recently passed a law that patients be informed that even though they have a negative test, they may still have Lyme or other Tick born diseases. The insurance companies currently use CDC guidelines on the disease that really only apply to early Lyme. There is debate between factions in the medical community as to whether Chronic Lyme exists or not. Even with a positive test I have still had medication denied. Until that debate is settled the patients and doctors treating Chronic Lyme should be heard. It's time for New York State to recognize the importance of this bill to the thousands of people suffering with Lyme and to the thousands more that will contract this potentially debilitating disease
This disease has affected friends, family members and myself. It is time to pass legislation that stops the discrimination of those who have contracted this terrible disease. Please don't let another year go by. Those suffering deserve better.