fine floor 052320GLENVIEW – To advocate for a solution to skyrocketing prescription drug prices and high out-of-pocket costs for patients, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) joined the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network for a town hall Monday night to discuss a new bill that would require insurers to offer more predictable prescription medication coverage.

“An individual with cancer or another life-threatening disease should be able to follow the treatment plan set by their doctor without having to skip meals, mortgage payments or other necessities,” Senator Fine said. “Lower, more transparent prescription drug pricing is critical to improving health care access across Illinois.”

At the town hall, Senator Fine discussed the importance of affordable health care and highlighted current laws and new legislation to help reduce patients’ out-of-pocket expenses.

Senator Fine has signed on to a bill that would require health insurance companies to offer plans with more stable specialty prescription drug coverage, such as a flat fee copay or a copay cap.

Of the more than 500 plans offered across all insurance companies and counties in Illinois, less than 10% provide patients with an affordable, predictable way to pay for specialty medicines. As a result, patients often don’t know the true cost of their prescription until they get to the register at the pharmacy.

“No patient should have to worry whether they’ll be able to afford their life-saving medication,” Senator Fine said. “Reasonable, reliable cost-sharing requirements can help give Illinois patients and families the stability they need to access care and better their health.”

Senator Fine is chief co-sponsor of Senate Bill 275, which has been assigned to the Insurance Committee.

Category: Press Releases

05232019CM0345SPRINGFIELD – To help social services employees better identify, understand and protect patients with dementia, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) is partnering with the Illinois chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association on legislation to improve training for employees of the Illinois Department on Aging’s Adult Protective Services division.

“For employees working to prevent abuse and neglect of older adults, it’s critical to be familiar with the symptoms of dementia and the types of abuse that most commonly affect patients living with it,” Senator Fine said. “A well-educated workforce means better protection for aging Illinoisans.”

The legislation would implement an annual two-hour training course for Adult Protective Services employees on the identification of people with dementia, risks such as wandering and elder abuse, and best practices for interacting with people with dementia.

The training would cover areas including symptoms of dementia; communicating with people with dementia; tips for lessening risk factors; how to connect people with dementia to local care resources and dementia care professionals; and common red flags that may indicate people with dementia are suffering abuse, neglect or exploitation.

“If you have had a family member or loved one suffer from dementia, you know they need specialized support and care,” Senator Fine said. “Through education, we can ensure better communication and understanding between older adults and social services agents.”

Senate Bill 331 awaits assignment to a committee.

To report suspected abuse, exploitation or neglect of an older adult, call the statewide, 24-hour Adult Protective Services Hotline at 1-866-800-1409.

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – In response to the governor’s annual budget address Wednesday, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) released the following statement:

“Given the challenges Illinois has faced over the last year, the governor’s proposal for a balanced, functional budget is both a relief and a promise that we are on the road to recovery.

“As a strong advocate for mental health care, I’m glad to see the proposed budget includes funding for suicide prevention and awareness programs, which are even more critical as individuals and families grapple with the losses and stresses resulting from the pandemic.

“However, I’m concerned that the governor’s proposed budget does not adequately consider the new needs of our schools, which have taken on a particularly heavy burden in the transition to remote and hybrid learning during the COVID-19 crisis. We have to protect our children’s academic futures, especially as we look toward a post-pandemic world.

“I look forward to continuing negotiations with my fellow lawmakers in the General Assembly to build a budget that supports all Illinoisans, including our teachers and students, through the challenges of the pandemic and beyond.”

Category: Press Releases

03272019CM0373 1SPRINGFIELD – Strengthening existing mental health resources in Illinois and fostering the formation of new support systems are top priorities for State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) in her role as chair of the newly formed Senate Committee on Behavioral and Mental Health.

“As a lawmaker, ensuring every Illinoisan has access to quality mental health care has always been one of my main legislative goals,” Senator Fine said. “The creation of a dedicated committee shows the Illinois Senate is ready to commit the necessary time and focus to understand and eliminate barriers to care. I’m honored to serve as chair to help start those conversations.”

The committee is expected to evaluate bills regarding insurance coverage of mental health care, existing support programs and new resources for those experiencing mental health and substance abuse disorders.

Senator Fine, a longtime mental health advocate, has sponsored several pieces of legislation during her time in the Illinois General Assembly to give Illinoisans faster, easier access to care. Last spring, Senator Fine renewed her push to require insurance companies to cover mental health services delivered via telehealth, which has become a particularly important option for patients seeking safe care during the pandemic.

When the COVID-19 crisis put the legislative session on hold, Senator Fine worked closely with the National Alliance on Mental Illness to release a series of video Q&As on managing stress brought on by the pandemic.

“It’s not just systemic barriers we need to address—it’s also the social stigma around mental health and getting help,” said Senator Fine. “I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues in the Senate to find practical, meaningful solutions for the people of Illinois.”

Committee schedules and livestreamed proceedings are available at www.ilga.gov.

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