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Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs several health insurance protection bills

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(The Center Square) – Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday signed two measures into law that seek to protect residents from certain medical rate hikes.

House Bill 2296 provides that insurance companies will have to provide specific information about how they set their rates, while House Bill 579 transitions Illinois to a state platform, redirecting a fee to the new state-based marketplace.

Pritzker signed the measures, which he said will help working families in Illinois.

“As governor, I’ve worked to build a state government that is more efficient and more responsive to what working families need,” Pritzker saud. “Operating our own health-care marketplace gives us the dexterity to offer more enrollment windows, coordinate with nonprofit partners who help families navigate insurance choices, and protect Illinoisans from any future changes in federal policy that seek to undermine access to affordable health care, including access to reproductive health care.”

Both pieces of legislation aim to create a new state-based marketplace for Illinois, which gives state agencies additional tools to create a more consumer-focused health insurance exchange and better identify traditionally uninsured communities.

The full state-based marketplace goes live for the plan year 2026, according to the state.

Pritzker said the more people who are covered by health insurance will relieve some financial burdens.

“Increasing the market of covered people also brings down the costs of health care for everyone,” Pritzker said. “That’s all the more important in times of high inflation, and it is a goal that I am proud to advance today.”

State Sen. Ann Gillespie, D-Arlington Heights, sponsored the measures and said this transforms how Illinois handles health care.

“By expanding health insurance options and protecting consumers from rate increases, we are transforming the landscape of health care in our state,” Gillespie said.

State Sen. Laura Fine, D-Glenview, whose husband was injured in a car accident and lost a limb, said passing bills like these are important to her.

“Being a legislator is being able to pass laws that will impact and improve the lives of others,” Fine said. “This is one of those bills, and this bill is quite personal to me.”

Details on what the new laws will cost taxpayers has not been released.

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