Illinois governor signs bill requiring hospitals to provide cheaper care to uninsured

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Aug. 25 signed a bill that will require hospitals in the state to provide cheaper care to those who are uninsured. 

The bill, which will take effect Jan. 1, decreases the maximum annual cap on the amount of money hospitals can collect for services from eligible uninsured patients to no more than 15 percent of a patient's income. Previously, this cap was set at 25 percent.

Additionally the bill decreases the cost threshold that makes patients eligible for discounts for all medically necessary healthcare services from $300 to $150.

In addition to those modifications, the bill requires nonprofit hospitals to have community benefits plans that will describe how it will address health equity and improve the health of their patient population and detail how it handles financial assistance applications. 

"I'm proud to sign this legislation that will expand access to medical care for all our Illinois residents," Mr. Pritzker said in a news release. "Illinois is taking yet another step toward expanding health equity and ensuring that cost is not a barrier to receiving vital medical services."

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