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State bill aims to limit insurance coverage network disruptions

SPRINGFIELD – A measure designed to protect health insurance plan participants from drastic and disruptive changes to coverage networks has been sent to the governor for a signature.

holmes linda“With what is happening with healthcare at the federal level, we in state government must give people some peace of mind,” said Aurora Democrat state Sen. Linda Holmes, the bill’s sponsor (shown). “This legislation keeps people updated about their insurance networks and provides some stability for consumers during such a turbulent time for healthcare.”

The Network Adequacy and Transparency Act has earned broad support from both Republicans and Democrats as well as the American Cancer Society, the Illinois Health and Hospital Association, the Illinois State Medical Society and many other health organizations.

The legislation would maintain standards for access to prevent plan participants from traveling long distances for medical care. It would keep network directories up to date and notify patients of network changes and allow people with serious health needs to stay with their provider.

“This legislation is needed because people think they are playing by the rules when purchasing health insurance, but are often in for a surprise when they try to go to a doctor,” said Illinois State Medical Society President Thomas M. Anderson, M.D. “Patients may have done their homework and checked that their doctor is in-network, only to show up to their appointment and find out the insurance company website was out-of-date and they won’t get the coverage they were promised.”

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