SPRINGFIELD, Ill. —  To help reduce medical debt for uninsured Illinoisans, state Rep. Dagmara “Dee” Avelar, D-Bolingbrook, passed legislation to ensure those in need of medical care will be automatically screened for health care coverage eligibility when they seek care at a hospital.

“Medical debt can be absolutely devastating for patients and their families, and it disproportionately impacts low-income immigrants and Black communities. Many uninsured Illinoisans are eligible for some type of financial assistance, but accessing that assistance can be complicated, especially for those vulnerable communities,” Avelar said. “Proactively screening individuals for financial assistance options will allow people to access the health care they need without drowning in medical debt that could take decades to pay off.”

Avelar’s House Bill 2719 requires hospitals to screen uninsured patients for eligibility for public health insurance programs and any financial assistance offered by the hospital in compliance with the Language Assistance Services Act and creates procedures. Many people forgo medical treatment because of high costs — screening patients for financial assistance will discourage this and prevent medical debt.

“Financial circumstances, race, zip code, or immigration status should have no bearing on a person’s access to medically-necessary health care. This legislation is a commonsense solution to prevent medical debt for vulnerable patients so they can access the care they need,” Avelar said. “I am grateful to my colleagues in the House and Senate for passing this legislation, and I urge the Governor to sign the bill and help Illinoisans live healthier lives, both physically and financially.”

House Bill 2719 passed Illinois General Assembly and now heads to the Governor for signature. For more information on Avelar’s legislative agenda, please visit www.ilga.gov.

Rep. Dagmara
Rep. Dagmara “Dee” Avelar

85th District

Springfield Office:
265-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-4179

District Office:
1050 W. Romeo Rd
Romeoville, IL 60446
(815) 372-0085