skip to main content

Saturday, June 10, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

Former President Donald J. Trump first ever to face federal charges in 7 count indictment; the Supreme Court strikes down Alabama's Congressional Maps; Canadian wildfires affect the health of humans and wildlife.

play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court upholds a key provision of the Voting Rights Act over Alabama redistricting, smoky skies could spell EPA trouble for some states, and President Biden calls on Congress to pass LGBTQ+ protections.

play newscast audioPlay

Rural communities launch projects with funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, a study says rural transgender adults feel less supported than those in urban areas, and a summer road trip could mean majestic scenic byways or a sprinkling of donut shops.

IL Legislation Would Help People Avoid Medical Debt

play audio
Play

Friday, March 24, 2023   

A new report finds thousands of low-income or uninsured people in Illinois face medical debt that is depleting their savings and, in some cases, affecting their health.

The report, from the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, described situations where patients racked up big bills because they didn't know that hospitals or community agencies could offer financial assistance. House Bill 2719 was filed this week to require all Illinois hospitals to screen uninsured patients and inform them of their options for paying medical bills.

Luvia Quinones, senior director of health policy at the coalition, said many low-income and working-class people are unnecessarily losing sleep - and cash.

"Many of these individuals are actually eligible for something, whether it be some type of health coverage program or for hospital financial assistance," she said, "and unfortunately, many of them are not made aware of either of these services or programs."

The Illinois Department of Health Care and Family Services reported in 2021 that more than 900,000 people in the state were uninsured. It said one-third of them qualify for coverage under Medicaid or through the Insurance Marketplace, while others are eligible for hospital financial programs or charity care.

Most Democrats in the General Assembly support the bill, but Republicans have not publicly staked out a position. The measure is pending before the Health Care Availability and Accessibility Committee. Quinones said the bill's goal is ultimately to prevent excessive medical debt.

"By hospitals screening these individuals, you could prevent them both ending up in medical debt," she said, "and it could also help the hospitals to be able to get reimbursed for some of the services."

References:  
Report Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights 3/2023
House Bill 2719 Illinois Legislature 2023
Background Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights 2023

get more stories like this via email
Guns to Gardens volunteers in New Hampshire are working against what are considered among the weakest gun laws in the country. State law does not require background checks on all gun sales, or limit access to firearms by people in crisis. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Community volunteers in New Hampshire are turning unwanted firearms into garden tools as part of a nationwide effort to reduce gun violence. Under …


Social Issues

play sound

Parents and educators in the Houston Independent School District said they are all for improving schools but do not believe a state takeover by an une…

Social Issues

play sound

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower-court ruling on a 5-to-4 vote Thursday, deciding Alabama's 2022 congressional maps violated the Voting Rights …


Alaska has more than 322 million acres of public lands, more than three times the acreage of the entire state of California. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

The Bureau of Land Management has announced a $161 million investment in habitat and wildland restoration projects in 11 western states. Alaska is …

Environment

play sound

As smoke from Canadian wildfires blankets New York and much of the East Coast, it's causing a wide range of health effects - and not just for people…

Connexus Energy operates a 'solar meadow' at its headquarters in Ramsey, Minn. (Photo courtesy of Fresh Energy)

Environment

play sound

By Elizabeth Hewitt for Reasons to be Cheerful.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Net…

Social Issues

play sound

To fight such pressing issues as housing shortages and increasing crime rates in cities across the country, many of the nation's mayors are taking …

Health and Wellness

play sound

As part of Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month, mental-health advocates in Iowa are sharing information about Alzheimer's and say two new drugs …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021