SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Uninsured and underinsured Illinoisans in need of medical care would be automatically screened for health care coverage eligibility under a new bill proposed by state Rep. Dagmara “Dee” Avelar, D-Bolingbrook.
“Nearly one out of every ten residents in the 85th District are uninsured, outpacing the state uninsured rate of 6.82 percent. Many of these residents forgo necessary medical care for fear of high costs, leading to poorer health outcomes and quality of life. This is particularly true for the communities of color, who are disproportionately burdened by medical debt,” Avelar said. “This bill will help local residents and people across Illinois access health care coverage and receive the care they need to live healthy lives.”
Avelar’s House Bill 2719 would increase patient rights to health care coverage and reduce medical debt for uninsured individuals by requiring hospitals to assess patients’ eligibility for health care coverage. The bill would create a standardized procedure for hospitals to assess uninsured patients for eligible health care coverage programs and require hospitals to assist patients in applying for said programs and financial assistance programs.
“Everyone, regardless of race, zip code, or immigration status, deserves to be physically and financially healthy. If hospitals screen potential patients at the outset of care, we can get people the medical care they need without putting them into a large amount of debt,” Avelar said. “As a state representative, I see it as my duty to do everything I can to help even the playing field when it comes to health care coverage. I look forward to working with my stakeholders and my fellow legislators to expand health care coverage for all Illinoisans.”
For more information on Avelar’s legislative agenda, please visit www.ilga.gov