HomeInsuranceIL House passes bill reforming parts of health insurance industry, a major...

IL House passes bill reforming parts of health insurance industry, a major Pritzker priority

SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) – With bipartisan support, the Illinois House of Representatives passed one of Gov. JB Pritzker’s major priorities Thursday night.

The House passed the Healthcare Protection Act by an 81-25 margin, with two members voting “present.” Several Republicans joined all Democrats in voting for the bill.

It overhauls parts of the health insurance industry in Illinois.

The bill would ban so-called “step therapy.” This is when an insurance company requires a patient to try and fail alternative medications before covering medications their doctor recommends.

It would also ban prior authorization for in-person mental health treatment for the first 72 hours.

“One of the major changes that we’re making with this bill is ensuring that when someone is having an acute mental-health crisis that they can’t be turned away from in-patient care in a hospital because of arbitrary insurance rules,” said state Rep. Anna Moeller, D-Elgin, the bill’s sponsor.

Insurance companies would also be required to post all procedures requiring prior authorization.

The bill would also ban so-called “junk plans.”

“This bill will save lives and lower health care costs for millions of Illinoisans,” Pritzker said. “Together we will get this bill through the Senate and land it on my desk where I will proudly sign it.”

Pritzker said he plans to take his message across the state next week. He’ll meet with doctors and patients to talk about the legislation.

The bill now heads to the state Senate where lawmakers expected some changes.

Moeller said there are always changes that happen during the legislative process.

“I think we’re sending the Senate a very strong bill,” she said.

Moeller also said she hopes the federal government looks at the proposed reforms in the bill as a model for changes at the national level.

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