The following is an update on the status of state bills relating to the treatment of lymphedema, valid as of April 1, 2005.
VIRGINIA. The success story of 2003! Virginia House Bill No. 1737 Delegate Leo Wardrup was passed and becomes law in Virginia January 1, 2004. The new law provides "equipment, supplies, complex decongestive therapy and outpatient self-management training and education for the treatment of lymphedema", regardless of cause.
MASSACHUSETTS. S.582 Lymphedema Treatment, Senator Susan Fargo provides "coverage for the cost of treatment and follow-up treatment for lymphedema, including but not limited to complete decongestive therapy, manual lymph drainage, surgical treatments, compression garments, bandages, replacement garments or bandages or other course of treatment recommended by a health care provider in accordance with generally accepted current medical standards." The bill applies to State employees, group and individual health insurance contracts, and HMOs. This bill passed in the Massachusetts Senate last session and was renamed S.2471, but died in the Assembly. It has been re-introduced in 2005 and has been referred to the joint Financial Services Committee.
NEW YORK. There are currently three bills which have been introduced in the New York Legislature relating to lymphedema. They are as follows:
A5597 A5911Kolb Provides coverage of compression sleeves; provides "reimbursement for costs associated with diagnosis and treatment of lymphedema including costs of compression sleeves used to alleviate the pain and discomfort of lymphedema." currently in Assembly Insurance Committee.
A9208 A5003 Cohen Provides coverage for diagnosis and treatment of lymphedema to current medical standard of care including supplies and MLD, qualification standards for therapists and fitters, patient education. Also conforms NY law to the WHCRA of 1998 with regard to lymphedema treatment. currently in Assembly Insurance Committee;
S7005 S3015 Fuschillo Senate designation of A5003 currently in Senate Insurance Committee.
CALIFORNIA. A lymphedema diagnosis and treatment bill, AB-213 has been introduced in the California Assembly by Assembly Member Liu of Pasadena. This bill provides coverage for differential diagnosis of lymphedema, treatment in accordance with current standards, medically required garments, bandages, shoes and orthotic devices, patient education, standards for therapists and garment fitters and patient protection against arbitrary denials currently in the Assembly Health Committee referred to the California Health Benefits Review Program for analysis of fiscal, medical and public health impact.
CONNECTICUT. A lymphedema proposed bill No. 119 was introduced by Senator Harp in the Connecticut General Assembly providing "that the general statutes be amended to require each health care insurer licensed in Connecticut to provide inexhaustible coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of lymphedema" currently in the Committee on Public Health