Illinois just became the first state to sign House Bill 2721 or Charlie’s Law into its laws. This will require that all health insurers offer coverage in treating PANDAS/PANS or the Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal.
PANDAS, A Sudden and Unexpected Treatment
House Bill 2721 was introduced by Senator Tom Cullerton and was signed into law on Tuesday, July 18 and is effective immediately. The signing took place at the house of Charlie Drury, the reason behind this new bill’s name.
This young boy developed PANDA as he was eight years old, and this changed his life and that of his family. His mother, Kate, together with Wendy Nawara, whose children are also affected by PANDAS/PANS are the driving forces behind this new law.
PANDAS is described as being a sudden and also unexpected illness. It is known to be a rare autoimmune response that, for reasons still quite unknown, can develop after a strep infection. Its key symptoms are of a psychiatric nature, which makes diagnosing the disease quite hard.
Some of the symptoms attributed to the onset of PANDAS include the sudden presence of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) or/and tic disorder. The onset is pediatric (from ages 3 to puberty). Symptoms can develop either very abruptly, or they can worsen unexpectedly but episodically.
The treatment usually involves using antibiotics as well as drugs and therapies generally used in managing OCD and any other psychiatric symptoms.
Thanks to the newly signed law, insurance companies will be restricted by law and unable to refuse to offer treatment options or paying for the costs.
“This new law is a testament to the incredible mothers who went to battle to support Illinois’ children to ensure they receive essential treatment and raise awareness for this tormenting disease,” stated Cullerton.
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