Bill for flexible Medicare selection periods would mean ‘freedom to seek lower costs elsewhere’ (Springfield, IL) – State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) has introduced Senate Bill 147 to allow Illinois residents to switch Medicare supplemental plans without additional premium charges or pre-existing condition factoring. The measure has passed the Insurance Committee this week and is now to be considered by the Senate.
“If their supplemental plan rates go up, many older adults are denied the chance to switch to a less expensive plan because of a pre-existing condition. It’s time to give older Illinoisans the freedom to seek lower costs elsewhere,” Sen. Laura Murphy wrote in a Facebook post.
The initiative would ensure an open enrollment period for insured patients between the ages of 65 and 75 years old each year. The time would span 45 days following the policyholder’s birthday.
During the open enrollment period, members would have the ability to switch policies under the same insurance provider. Providers are prohibited from denying, charging, or underwriting based on the insuree’s health conditions.
The idea for Murphy’s proposal derived from Californian law, the Medigap “Birthday Rules,” which granted Medicare members time to select a supplemental health plan within 30 days of their birthday. Other states have implemented similar guidelines.
“Many older residents in my district have contacted my office to support this measure,” said Murphy. “We need to give Medicare patients the ability to shop for the policy that works for them.”
Bill for flexible Medicare selection periods would mean ‘freedom to seek lower costs elsewhere’