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Gov. Pritzker applauds passage of historic legislation to lower the cost of health insurance and protect consumers

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Continuing his efforts to lower the cost of health insurance and bolster consumer protections in Illinois, Governor JB Pritzker applauded the full passage of both House Bill 579 and House Bill 2296, which will create a state-based health insurance marketplace and institute the first rate review process in Illinois to protect consumers from unnecessary rate hikes.

“Through these bills, we’re taking historic action to provide affordable, quality health insurance to people all across the state,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “We’re holding health insurance companies accountable, preventing unnecessary rate hikes, and ensuring residents who are eligible to receive health insurance get connected to the plan they deserve. I’m thankful to Majority Leader Robyn Gabel, Senator Laura Fine, and Senator Ann Gillespie for their leadership on behalf of vulnerable Illinoisans and I look forward to signing these bills when they reach my desk.”

House Bill 579 establishes a state-based health insurance marketplace. Through the creation of this marketplace, the state of Illinois can expand healthcare access by effectively identifying traditionally underinsured communities, conducting effective outreach to them, and assisting in the enrollment process to ensure they receive the plan they need. The state-based marketplace also protects Illinois from efforts by future federal administrations to disrupt healthcare enrollment. As a result, more Illinoisans than ever before will be able to utilize a health insurance plan that works for them and their family.

House Bill 2296 is a monumental piece of consumer protection legislation that substantially advances health care affordability. When signed into law, Illinois will join 41 other states in protecting Illinois consumers and small businesses from unfair premium rate hikes. For the first time, insurance companies will have to provide specific information about how they set their rates and the Department of Insurance will have the authority to deny rate hikes that are not adequately justified.

This will be accomplished by implementing the following measures:

  • Providing the Department of Insurance the authority to approve, modify, or disapprove health premium rates that it determines to be unreasonable or inadequate in the individual and small group market.
  • Increasing transparency for consumers and small business by adding reporting requirements for insurance companies.
  • Giving the Department of Insurance the data it needs to explain to consumers and small businesses in layman’s terms why people pay what they pay in a yearly report.

Both bills will now be sent to Governor Pritzker for his signature.

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