Insurance bill to cover port-wine stain treatment presented to local family

(From left) Illinois Rep. Randy Frese, R-Paloma and Sen. Jil Tracy, R-Quincy, present a copy of Senate Bill 2158, which was signed into law in August and provides insurance coverage for the treatment of port-wine stains, to the family of Jeff Terry on Tuesday. Terry’s 11-month-old son, Jeffrey Jr., has the condition but is undergoing treatment.

QUINCY — Sen. Jil Tracy, R-Quincy, and Rep. Randy Frese, R-Paloma, were in Quincy on Tuesday to present a copy of an insurance bill signed into law last month to the family who inspired it.

The bill, Senate Bill 2158, will provide insurance coverage for the treatment of nevus flammeus, also known as port-wine stains, including those caused by Sturge-Weber syndrome. However, coverage would not include treatment solely for cosmetic purposes.

The legislation was passed out of both chambers without opposition.

Tracy said at the recommendation of Quincy resident Jeff Terry, whose 11-month-old son, Jeffrey Jr., who was born with port-wine stains on the left side of his face.

“We get the best ideas, and usually they get passed with bipartisan support, from constituents that are running into an issue,” Tracy said.

Tracy said Terry had found out that his health insurance had objection to covering treatments for port-wine stains. She added that proactive laser treatments at an early age, although expensive, can help to prevent more serious complications from the condition.

“It’s more than cosmetic,” Tracy said.

Frese said he got in touch with Rep. Kam Buckner, D-Chicago, whose legislative district contains Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, to draw bipartisan support. Buckner quickly signed onto the bill and the bill was passed out of the House by a 116-0 vote.

Terry said it was a big deal for the bill to have bipartisan support and after learning more about the condition after his son was born, he felt the bill was something everyone can get behind.

“Once everybody kind of understands it, it’s kind of a no brainer for most people to say that’s something I can support,” “We’re just so happy it happened and I know around the country, states are trying to do this (and) other people and parents are going through the same thing so we’re hoping we can help in some way here.”

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