PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The Oregon Senate unanimously passed a bill Tuesday that would expand coverage for children with mental health disorders in the state.
Senate Bill 628 would require health insurers to cover immunoglobulin therapy (IVIG) for children with certain antibody deficiencies.
The treatment would be free for children with Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS) and Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS).
According to The Center for Fully Functional Health, PANDAS “occurs when a group A strep infection uses molecular mimicry to trick your immune system into attacking your own brain.” And while PANS is similar to PANDAS, it does not originate from a group A strep infection.
To treat these disorders, the Center says “immunoglobulins (antibodies) in IVIG interact with your immune cells to ‘reset’ your immune system.”
On Wednesday, Majority Leader Kate Lieber urged unanimous support for SB 628.
“No child should go without life-saving care because of their family’s inability to afford it. No parent should have to live with that pain,” Lieber said.
The bill passed with unanimous support on Thursday, and will now head to the House of Representatives.