AARP Applauds Senate Passage Of Key Health Insurance Bill, Urges House To Follow

House Bill 3227 Will Help over 1 Million Illinoisans Have Access to Healthcare Plans

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., May 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Thousands of Illinois citizens do not have access to basic health and dental care even when employed. But today's State Senate passage of a key legislative measure means critical help is on the way through the establishment of the state's first Health Insurance Marketplace. House Bill 3227 today passed the Senate by a vote of 39-19 and is on its way to the State House. AARP is urging State Representatives to vote Yes on this urgently-needed legislation.

"Too many Illinoisans simply do not have access to the health insurance they need for themselves and their families, even though they are working," said AARP Illinois State Director Bob Gallo. "HB3227 will help over one million Illinoisans become eligible to purchase health and dental plans in an individual market. This bill will also help create plans for small business owners, so they can enroll their employees. We commend the Senate for approving this bill and we urge the House to do the same."

HB3227 if enacted will be a critical step in the effort to extend health coverage to those currently without it, and to improve access for those already in the individual and small group markets. 

The legislation will ensure that Illinois consumers' voices are represented in the Marketplace Governing Board that will be created to review and approve the plans recommended by the Department of Insurance. The Board will reflect the geographic, gender, cultural, racial and ethnic diversity of the state.

AARP, along with over 100 non-profit and health advocacy organizations supports HB3227. AARP strongly believes that a Health Insurance Marketplace will address the needs of the consumer as well as the rights of all Illinoisans to access comprehensive health care coverage.