On Tuesday, the Senate approved House Bill (HB) 1372 with a vote of 45-3. HB 1372 contains an amendment authored by State Senator David Niezgodski (D-South Bend) which would require Indiana health insurance plans to cover the autoimmune diseases PANS and PANDAS. Sen. Niezgodski’s Senate Bill (SB) 311 provided this child health care coverage and was approved by the Senate last month, but failed to get a hearing in the House of Representatives.

“Unfortunately, the House was unable to hear SB 311 before the deadline, but I wanted to keep marching ahead to try to get this important protection passed this year,” Sen. Niezgodski said. “Many families have shared stirring testimony on how hard and expensive it can be to treat their children that suffer from these disorders. As long as this language remains unchanged, I’ll be happy to say that families in Indiana will no longer have to go bankrupt to get their children necessary care for a treatable disease. To Hoosier families, I assure you, I’ll keep trying to see this through until the end of session.”

Sen. Niezgodski’s amendment has received wide support from Hoosiers and other advocacy groups. The Alliance to Solve PANS and Immune Related Encephalopathies (ASPIRE) came out in support of the proposal. On their Facebook page, ASPIRE responded to the addition of Sen. Niezgodski’s amendment to HB 1372:

“Fantastic work Indiana. How fabulous to have such a great group of parents and a true [l]egislative champion!”