pexels oles kanebckuu 127873CHICAGO – A new law sponsored by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) that will improve access to healthcare for low-income and uninsured residents was signed into law by Governor Pritzker Wednesday.

"Expanding access to health care includes improving hospital community benefit plans," Hunter said. "This measure offers patient-centered changes and increased options for affordable care, which is crucial to bring equity to our communities."

The legislation will improve the hospital screening process that connects uninsured patients to life-saving resources and financial assistance programs. Further, this law aims to increase transparency surrounding hospital community benefits reports.

The law also requires non-profit hospitals’ community benefits plans to describe activities the hospital is undertaking to address health equity, reduce health disparities, and improve community health.

Another provision decreases the maximum amount collected by uninsured patients for services rendered by a hospital from 25% to 15% of a person’s income.

“Everyone deserves access to health care, and this law will help those who’ve been historically underserved have better options for service,” Hunter said. “The cost threshold will be lowered so that uninsured patients are eligible for discounts.”

Senate Bill 1840 is effective Jan. 1, 2022.

Category: Health & Human Services

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