SPRINGFIELD Ill. – Families of children diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder can better access health insurance coverage under legislation sponsored by state Rep. Deb Conroy, D-Villa Park, which passed the Illinois House with unanimous bipartisan support.
“Two years ago, I worked with local parents of children suffering from PANDAS/PANS to pass legislation mandating insurance coverage for this rare autoimmune disorder,” Conroy said. “Relieving some of the financial burden on these families was a huge step. Unfortunately, the insurance companies have made it near impossible for parents to get the necessary treatments for their children. My legislation eliminates one of the insurance companies’ roadblocks to ensure that these families can get the care their children so desperately need and deserve.”
Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infections and Pediatric Acute Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANDAS/PANS) is an abnormal autoimmune response to a common strep infection. Symptoms include anxiety, severe changes in personality, deterioration in handwriting skills, phobias that develop suddenly, and motor or vocal tics that mimic Tourette syndrome.
“Treatment for PANDAS/PANS is most effective when the disorder is diagnosed and treated as early on as possible, but the high cost of treatment makes it difficult for working families to access the care their child needs,” Conroy added. “This bill will make it harder for insurance companies to skirt the law and deny coverage based on a technicality, as they are currently doing.”