SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Insurance providers will be required to cover the treatment for a rare, debilitating childhood medical condition under a new law backed by state Rep. Kelly Burke, D-Evergreen Park.
“The profits of health insurance companies should never take priority over the life and wellbeing of a child,” Burke said. “I am proud Illinois is leading the way and becoming the first state to require insurance companies to provide coverage for the treatment of PANDAS.”
Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders associated with Streptococcal infections and Pediatric Acute Neuropsychiatric Syndrome, also known as PANDAS/PANS, is an abnormal autoimmune response to a common strep infection affecting approximately 1 in 2,000 children in the United States. Symptoms include anxiety, severe changes in personality, separation anxiety, deterioration in handwriting skills, phobias that develop suddenly, and motor or vocal tics that mimic Tourette syndrome or seizures.
Burke helped pass House Bill 2721, which was recently signed into law. Burke’s bill, also known as “Charlie’s Law,” ensures that all individual and group insurance plans cover PANDAS/PANS treatment. Charlie Grobe Drury’s parents have led efforts to work with legislators to enact greater protections for children suffering from PANDAS.
“This law means children suffering from PANDAS will be able to get the treatment they need regardless of their parents’ finances,” Burke said. “This measure is an example of what can happen when we come together and work in a bipartisan measure to improve the lives of residents.”