04212021CM0481SPRINGFIELD – Older Illinoisans would have more flexibility when shopping for Medicare supplemental plans under a measure State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) advanced through the Senate Thursday.

“In the event that a policyholder’s circumstances change or their rates go up, their health status shouldn’t be a barrier to finding a more reasonably priced supplemental plan,” Murphy said. “This measure would prevent our older neighbors from being locked into a policy they don’t need and can’t afford.”

The measure would establish an annual open enrollment period for each Medicare supplement policyholder between 65 and 75 years of age that begins on the policyholder’s birthday and lasts 45 days.

During this period, the policyholder would be able to switch to a new supplemental policy with equal or lesser benefits under their same insurance provider. Insurance providers would not be able to deny, underwrite or charge new policyholders based on health status.

Murphy’s initiative is modeled after a law in California known as the Medigap “Birthday Rule,” which allows those with Medicare supplemental plans 60 days to switch to a plan of equal or lesser benefits at the time of their birthday. Other states designate guaranteed-issue periods during certain months or around the anniversary of the policyholder’s original policy issue date.

“Insurance costs can be a hefty burden on those with fixed incomes,” Murphy said. “This measure could make all the difference for older residents facing financial stress.”

Senate Bill 147 passed the Senate Thursday and now heads to the House.

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Springfield Office:
108E Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-3875

District Office:
880 Lee St. Suite 100
Des Plaines, IL 60016

 (847) 718-1110