Gov. Bruce Rauner signed Charlie's Law on Tuesday, July 18. The, first-in-the-nation, bill will allow all children in Illinois to receive treatment under their insurance plans for the behavioral disease PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections).
Just one round of treatment for PANDAS can cost up to $15,000.
"Today is an important day. This shows what can happen when we come together promptly and effectively to put our children first," said Gov. Rauner. "Our young people should be the top priority in everything that we do in the state of Illinois. Our children, their health, well-being and education should be first and foremost in everything that we do in public service and in government."
The bipartisan HB 2721, now known as Charlie's Law,ensures parents will never have to choose between affordable care and the well-being of their children. It requires all insurance providers to cover the treatment.
Gov. Rauner was joined by Wendy Nawara and Kate Drury, the President and Vice President respectively of PANDAS/PANS Advocacy and Support; both women have sons named Charlie who suffered from PANDAS.
Drury fought for Charlie's Law after her son was diagnosed with PANDAS. Her son developed a deathly fear of water as a result of the disease. Since receiving treatment, Charlie has recovered and is thriving four years after his diagnosis.
"I would like to thank Governor Rauner and the legislators who have stood by us for the last couple of years to fight something that we thought was insurmountable," said Wendy Nawara. "We are so grateful that you are here and that kids in Illinois will have access to coverage for PANDAS."