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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Illinois Senate Takes First Major Step To Passing A State Based Health Insurance Marketplace

Springfield - The State Senate Insurance Committee passed HB3227, formerly SB34, today, a major step in establishing a health insurance marketplace that helps small businesses and individuals in Illinois.

State Senator David Koehler (D-46 Peoria), chief sponsor of SB34 which was folded into HB3227, said, "To live up to the intention of the Affordable Care Act, we need to expand our help and support for the small businesses and consumers who will be using the new Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace. My bill does this, and I am pleased that my colleagues on the Insurance Committee were able to pass it."

Mark Burris of Springfield, the owner of MCCE Investments and owner of seven Subway Sandwich franchises, said, "Small businesses need a level playing field and there must be checks and balances with the insurance companies."

Burris continued, "In this bill, financing of the health insurance exchange under is through assessments of the insurers, as it should be. The insurance industry will benefit from the tax dollars used to create the infrastructure of the how the exchange is set up. It is only appropriate that they finance the day to day operations of the insurance health marketplace when an estimated one million new insurance customers will be purchasing private health insurance."

HB3227, formerly SB34, establishes a pro-consumer and pro-small business health insurance marketplace in Illinois. The health insurance marketplace will be the one-stop insurance shop for more than a million Illinoisans.

Jim Duffett, Executive Director of the Campaign for Better Health Care, said "This new marketplace will offer small businesses access to more affordable health insurance plans. Instead of paying 18% more than larger businesses, they will have a chance to compete for and retain good employees by providing affordable insurance. A win-win for small businesses and their employees because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly referred to as Obamacare."

HB3227, formerly SB34, ensures that the marketplace is governed by a diverse board that represents women, small businesses, communities of color, labor, public health, people with disabilities, and consumers, and provides for accountability of the insurance industry selling plans on the new marketplace.
Speaking on behalf of the National Association of Women Business Owners Chicago (NAWBO Chicago), Linda Forman said, "Who sits on the insurance exchange governing board is very important. We believe that a statewide governing board will be better able to understand the needs of women and the diversity of backgrounds and geography of small businesses throughout this state if the governing board is composed of the types of people who will be using the health insurance exchange marketplace."

"We can all agree that what we had has not worked very well, and to continue to do nothing is a bad mistake. We are excited to support HB3227, formerly SB34, and proud to be part of the Small Business Health Care Consortium. Our members are proud to see us take a step in the right direction on behalf of small business all across the state," said Larry Ivory, President of the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce. "We congratulate the members of the Insurance Committee for taking that step for Illinois small businesses and individuals today."
HB3227 (containing SB34 language) Fact Sheet

Kathleen Duffy
Campaign for Better Health Care


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