041124CM0179SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Robert Peters advanced the Healthcare Protection Act, a comprehensive plan tackling major issues in health insurance, through the Senate with bipartisan support on Thursday.

“Life, with all its twists and surprises, is already unpredictable. Our health care system shouldn't add to the uncertainty," said Peters (D-Chicago). “It’s time for insurance companies to prioritize care over profits, and for us to support those who work in and depend on the health care system with legislation that makes a difference.”

House Bill 5395 addresses "ghost networks," which occur when networks list providers who are not taking new patients, do not accept the patient’s insurance or are retired. Further, it extends the ban on unjustifiable insurance rate increases to large group plans in Illinois ensuring access to affordable care.

Peters’ legislation will improve health care accessibility and eliminate unnecessary barriers by banning prior authorization for mental health treatment, and mandating the public disclosure of treatments requiring prior authorization. In combination with legislation Peters is co-sponsoring, Senate Bill 2836, that would prohibit short-term, limited-duration health plans, Peters remains a health care champion this legislative season.

“I’ve heard powerful stories from doctors, patients and colleagues about how the Healthcare Protection Act would save lives and lower costs for millions of Illinoisans,” said Peters. “As my wife and I start on our journey to build a family through IVF and fertility treatments, this issue has been personal for me. I couldn’t be more proud to carry this legislation through the Senate.”

House Bill 5395 now heads to the House for concurrence and then to the governor’s desk for final consideration.