“Illinoisans are seeking social services at an unprecedented rate due to the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the investments we’re making in disability support services and mental health and substance abuse treatment will save lives across our state." -State Senator Laura FineSPRINGFIELD – In response to the General Assembly’s passage of a state budget for the upcoming fiscal year, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) released the following statement:

“Illinoisans are seeking social services at an unprecedented rate due to the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the investments we’re making in disability support services and mental health and substance abuse treatment will save lives across our state.

“I am also happy to see our state stay true to its commitment to fully fund the evidence-based school funding formula to support the schools preparing to welcome students back in person after last year’s tough transition to hybrid and remote learning.

“I’m proud to support a budget that prioritizes so many of our state’s needs.”

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Laura Fine on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – Individuals seeking telehealth treatment would be able to rely on their insurance company to cover care under a measure cosponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview), which passed the Senate Sunday.

“During the pandemic, telehealth proved to be lifesaving for many Illinois residents, especially for those seeking behavioral and mental health services,” Senator Fine said. “In addition, expanding telehealth coverage will make access to treatment easier for individuals, especially those who are homebound and those without reliable transportation options.”

Under current law, insurance companies may, but are not required to provide coverage for telehealth services. This measure would ensure coverage for clinically appropriate and medically necessary telehealth services at the same rate as in-person services.

“Many Illinoisans have already received their COVID-19 vaccines, but there are still plenty of people who aren’t comfortable or able to visit a doctor’s office in person,” Senator Fine said. “This measure will help them seek care from the comfort and safety of home.”

House Bill 3308 passed the Senate with a vote of 59-0.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Laura FineSPRINGFIELD – Birth centers across Illinois would have a path to permanent licensure, increasing access to quality, affordable health care for pregnant women, under a measure sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) that passed the Senate Saturday.

“Pregnant women should not be limited in their choice of birthing style due to an inadequate number of freestanding birth center licenses in Illinois,” Senator Fine said. “Improving accessibility to birth centers will help bridge health care disparities across the state.”

Senator Fine’s legislation would create the Birth Center Licensing Act, lifting the current cap on the number of freestanding birth center licenses, so more women, especially those in marginalized communities, have access to the birthing style they prefer. Freestanding birth centers would still be regulated under the Alternative Health Care Delivery Act, and licenses would have to be renewed every year.

Freestanding birth centers are a lower-cost option for expectant mothers seeking a more homelike approach to childbirth who do not want a hospital setting. There are currently just two freestanding birth centers in Illinois that provide this style of care.

“Establishing a permanent licensure pathway for freestanding birth centers is essential to supporting women who rely on their services throughout pregnancy,” Senator Fine said. “Giving women ample opportunity to seek a certified nurse midwife will give them autonomy over their health care and the chance to access quality services at a lower cost.”

House Bill 3995 passed the Senate with a vote of 59-0.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Laura FineSPRINGFIELD – Treatment for mental, emotional and nervous disorders would be considered medically necessary by insurance companies under legislation from State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview), which passed the Senate Saturday.

“We need to make sure insurance companies follow more consistent guidelines to determine medical necessity so individuals can seek immediate mental health treatment without having to worry about whether their care will be covered,” Senator Fine said. “Mental, emotional, nervous and substance use disorder treatment are all just as necessary as other kinds of medical treatment, and should likewise be covered as medically necessary care.”

Many patients seeking care for mental health conditions have found that their insurance companies refuse to cover their treatment because it has been deemed medically unnecessary according to a set of private and often complicated guidelines put in place by the insurer.

Senator Fine’s measure would require insurance carriers to consider mental health treatment medically necessary, in the same manner as substance use disorder treatment, to ensure individuals are not denied access to care. As many patients with substance abuse disorders also suffer from mental health conditions, this initiative would provide better transparency and consistency for those seeking both types of treatment.

“There is a rapidly escalating need for mental health treatment in our communities, especially with additional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Senator Fine said. “Ensuring coverage from insurance providers for medically necessary mental health treatment is a critical step for our state to prove its commitment to mental health.”

House Bill 2595 passed the Senate with a vote of 59-0.

Category: Press Releases

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Contact Information

Springfield Office:
121C Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-2119

District Office:
1812 Waukegan Road
Suite A
Glenview, IL 60025
(847) 998-1717

laura@senatorfine.com