VILLA PARK, Ill. –Continuing her fight to support families of children suffering from a rare autoimmune condition, state Rep. Deb Conroy, D-Villa Park, passed House Bill 1277, which ensures insurance coverage and treatment for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infections and Pediatric Acute Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANDAS/PANS).
“I fought hard, along with families across the state, to make Illinois the first state to mandate insurance coverage for treatment of PANDAS/PANS,” said Conroy. “The fight for children struggling with this disease has been long and difficult. This bill is an example of the kind of continued efforts we need to make, to ensure that insurance companies follow the laws we have set.”
Earlier this year, Conroy worked with local parents to pass legislation mandating insurance coverage for PANDAS/PANS treatment, making Illinois the first state to require coverage. This initiative was taken on four years ago when Kate Drury of Lombard and Wendy Nawara of Naperville shared with Conroy their families struggle with Pandas. After learning that despite the new law, some families were being denied coverage, Conroy passed House Bill 1277 to close a loophole that allowed insurance companies to delay coverage.
“It is not ok to deny or delay sick children access to necessary medical care ever, but especially after a law was passed with the intent of more readily providing insurance covered care,” said Lombard resident Kate Drury, whose son was diagnosed with PANDAS/PANS. “Children with PANDAS/PANS have a brain swelling, a kind of Autoimmune Encephalitis, and we as their parents, doctors, and even legislators must do what we can in order to get them the medical care they need. We are so grateful to Representative Conroy for her persistence and committed work on behalf of the children with PANDAS/PANS in Illinois!”