Insurance reforms advance as Pritzker announces California trip – Shaw Local

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker’s proposal for sweeping reforms to the state’s health insurance industry passed a committee Thursday and will soon make its way to the House floor.

Pritzker first described the proposal in his State of the State address in February, insisting it would “save lives and lower health care costs for millions of Illinoisans.”

The proposals are contained in House Bill 5395, called the Health Care Protection Act. Among its notable elements are a ban on requiring prior authorization from an insurance company before a patient can receive inpatient treatment at a mental health facility, and a ban on the use of “step therapy” in prescription drug coverage .

Step therapy, sometimes referred to as “fail-first” therapy, refers to the practice of requiring patients to demonstrate that cheaper, alternative medications or treatments are ineffective before being authorized to receive the drug or therapy prescribed by a physician. theirs.

Other elements of the bill include banning the sale of short-term and limited-duration insurance policies that do not meet minimum standards under the federal Affordable Care Act; a requirement that insurance companies use “generally accepted standards of care” in their utilization review programs; and a requirement that insurers maintain updated lists of network providers. The bill also authorizes the Illinois Department of Insurance to approve or deny proposed rate changes to large group insurance plans.

Pritzker has said he expects stiff opposition from the insurance industry. But the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Anna Moeller, D-Elgin, said she and other advocates have been working with industry to develop language that would allow companies to implement the changes.

The bill passed the House Human Services Committee with a technical amendment Thursday on a partisan 6-3 vote. Moeller said she intends to introduce an additional amendment before the bill is voted on by the full chamber.

Pritzker goes to California

Pritzker will take up Illinois film industry tax credits next week, highlighting the incentives in meetings with Hollywood film and production executives.

The Illinois Film Production Service tax credit was extended to 2022 and provides tax credits for labor and production expenses through 2032.

“The strides Illinois has made in growing our film and television production sector in recent years is nothing short of remarkable, and it’s time to make sure every production company and studio knows exactly what we can offer them.” Pritzker said.

The trip will also include meetings with tech leaders in the San Francisco area, where Pritzker is expected to highlight the state’s investments in quantum computing and manufacturing.

The governor’s office says film industry tax incentives have spurred hundreds of millions of dollars in spending for Illinois-based productions since 2017.

Measures of evaporation

Two bills that would restrict the marketing and sale of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices are awaiting action in the Illinois Senate after committee clearance.

Dennis Trask, a youth prevention coordinator at Comwell, a behavioral and mental health service provider in southern Illinois, speaks at a Capitol news conference about teen vaping Thursday.

Senate Bill 2662, by Sen. Julie Morrison, D-Lake Forest, would ban the advertising, marketing and promotion of vaping devices that could be mistaken for harmless objects, such as school supplies. At a news conference Thursday, sponsors specifically noted that the measure was aimed at products designed to resemble items such as highlights.

Senate Bill 3098, sponsored by Sen. Meg Loughran Cappel, D-Shorewood, would ban the sale of e-cigarettes over the Internet to individuals under the age of 21.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed in hundreds of newspapers, radio and television stations nationwide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, along with major contributions from the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation and the Southern Illinois Editorial Association.

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