State Senator Laura Fine on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – To better support Illinois residents, a law sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) will significantly increase access to medically necessary health care, giving people with mental health and substance use disorders the ability to access treatment sooner, get back on their feet and move forward with the support they need.

“Insurance companies should provide coverage for mental health treatment along the same guidelines as other types of medically necessary treatment,” Senator Fine said. “Breaking down barriers for those seeking mental health treatment by expanding insurance coverage is essential.”

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 will 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 use disorders also suffer from mental health conditions, this initiative will provide better transparency and consistency for those seeking both types of treatment.

House Bill 2595 was signed into law Wednesday and will take effect Jan. 1, 2022.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Laura FineSPRINGFIELD – Pregnant women will have more options on where to deliver under a new law sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) that establishes a path to permanent licensure for freestanding birth centers.

“Expecting mothers should have the ability to choose their birth style without limitations caused by a lack of freestanding birth center licenses in their area,” Senator Fine said. “Whether a pregnant woman is seeking a certified nurse midwife or they simply want a lower-cost birthing style, lifting the licensure cap for freestanding birth centers will help increase access to birth centers across Illinois.”

Senator Fine’s legislation creates 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 will still be regulated under the Alternative Health Care Delivery Act, and licenses will 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.

"All families should have the right to pick a birth plan that best fits their situation," said State Representative Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston), who sponsored the bill in the House. "Making freestanding birth centers widely available as a low-cost alternative to hospitals will give expectant mothers the opportunity to choose an affordable option for where to have their child. I'm proud this legislation will help get new lives off to a fair start."

House Bill 3995 was signed into law Friday and takes effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Laura FineSPRINGFIELD – Family members will be able to provide greater support for loved ones receiving treatment in mental health facilities under legislation sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview), which was signed into law Friday. Doctors will be able to provide information to patients’ family members to help them continue care upon release.

“Information is power when it comes to helping loved ones take care of their mental health,” Senator Fine said. “Family members who are involved in every step of the treatment process should receive information from mental health facilities in order to help their relative continue on a path forward with their mental health care.”

Senator Fine’s Access to Basic Mental Health Information Act will give certain family members access to information about their loved one’s care, including whether the individual is located at the mental health facility, their current physical and mental condition, diagnosis, treatment needs, services provided, services and medication needed, discharge planning or continuity of care, and a physician’s report if clinically appropriate.

The parent, adult sibling, adult child, spouse or adult grandchild of the individual in care will be able to request information from the mental health facility if they meet certain criteria.

"I'm proud that Illinois has redefined what infertility means to insurance companies, sending a message to families across Illinois that they're supported in their journey to start or grow their family,” said State Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz (D-Glenview), who sponsored the bill in the House. “Because of this legislation, LGBTQ couples, single women, and others won't have to face an added cost to welcome a child into their home, and I'm thrilled to see it signed into law today."

Public Act 102-0372 was signed into law Friday and will take effect Jan. 1, 2022.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Laura Fine on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – Illinois families will no longer have to pay for copies of medical records required to file claims for disability benefits under a new law sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview).

“Illinoisans seeking benefits should not have to pay a dime for paperwork required to file claims,” Senator Fine said. “There’s no reason to stick a price tag on copies of medical records for families who likely already paid high out-of-pocket costs for medical treatment.”

Current law allows homeless indigent veterans to receive medical records from health care facilities and practitioners at no cost to support claims for veterans’ disability benefits. Senator Fine’s law will expand eligibility to allow anyone to receive free medical records to support a claim for veterans’ disability, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, or Aid to the Aged, Blind or Disabled benefits.

“Our state’s benefits programs should work for everyone, not just those who can afford to file a claim,” Senator Fine said. “This law will ease the financial burden in the disability benefits application process and help families in every corner of Illinois.”

House Bill 714 was signed into law Friday and will take effect Jan. 1, 2022.

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