NEW LENOX – State Senator Rachel Ventura joined Governor Pritzker and several state legislators at Silver Cross Hospital Wednesday to discuss the importance of the Healthcare Protection Act.

“I previously worked at an insurance company, which showed me firsthand how they prioritized profits over providing actual care,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “The Healthcare Protection Act would end this practice of insurance companies putting profits above people and, more importantly, would stop insurance companies from practicing medicine without a license.”

The Healthcare Protection Act seeks to dismantle obstacles to doctor-recommended treatments and mental health care. Under this historic legislation, health insurance companies would receive fines and penalties that fail to adhere to the law. Additionally, the measure would prohibit prior authorization for mental health treatment and step therapy, and would ban junk insurance plans.

During the press conference, Ventura shared a story about a woman who has been sober from a substance for 10 years and now needs a routine procedure that requires pain management. When she shared her history with the doctor, they quickly offered a general anesthesia to provide pain management, only to have the insurance company deny it simply due to her not using their agreed pain management first.

“This bill is crucial for every Illinoisan. Residents have been denied the care they desperately need far too many times,” said Ventura. “We must give choice back to patients and doctors and not let life-altering medical decisions be placed in the hands of insurance companies.”

The House passed the Healthcare Protection Act last week and now heads to the Senate for further consideration.