Legislation requiring insurance companies to pay for long-term Lyme disease treament

Also, NPR's Hidden Brain

Lyme is a bacterial infection that is passed to humans through the bite of a deer tick; a common parasite in Pennsylvania. In fact, Lyme disease is so common here that the state has ranked first in the U.S. for reported cases over the last five years.

It is known as the “great imitator,” because Lyme symptoms are common to a host of other diseases. Frequently misdiagnosed, a sick person may not realize or remember they were bitten by a tick and, therefore, they don’t make the connection to the disease.

Treatment with antibiotics will be quicker and more complete the sooner it begins. If left undiagnosed, the disease becomes more complicated as the infection progresses through the body. Once this happens, treatment may be less effective, longer-term, and quite expensive.

Many insurance plans don’t currently cover the cost of long-term antibiotic treatment, so legislation has been proposed to require coverage in Pennsylvania.

Appearing on Smart Talk to discuss both sides of this issue are Republican state Representative Kathy Rapp of Warren County, Jackie Zulli, Vice President of legislative affairs for the PA Lyme Resource Network,and Dr. Henry Linder, MD, Endocrinologist. Sam Marshall, President and CEO of the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania will also be joined by Jonathan C. Greer, Senior Vice President of the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania.

Jacki Zulli

Smart Talk

Jackie Zulli, Vice President of legislative affairs for the PA Lyme Resource Network, appears on Smart Talk, October 30, 2019.

Henry Linder

Henry Linder

Dr. Henry Linder, MD, Endocrinologist, appears on Smart Talk, October 30, 2019.

Kathy Rapp

Kathy Rapp

Republican state Representative Kathy Rapp of Warren County, appears on Smart Talk, October 30, 2019.

Sam Marshall, President and CEO of the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania, appears on Smart Talk September 10, 2019

Smart Talk

Sam Marshall, President and CEO of the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania, appears on an earlier Smart Talk in September.

Also, the NPR radio production the Hidden Brain uses science and storytelling to reveal patterns driving human behavior.

Joining Smart Talk to discuss how these patterns reveal our choices and direct our relationships is Host Shankar Vedantam.

For more information on Lyme disease plus a deeper look at the changing tide of healthcare–check out WITF’s Transforming Health. Online at TransformingHealth.org.  A partnership of WITF, WellSpan Health and Capital Blue Cross.

 

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Up Next
Accountability

Shining a spotlight on PA campaign spending